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The Tribunal Resumed on the 16th December, 2005 as Follows:

The Tribunal Resumed on the 16th December, 2005 as Follows:

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Published by Gavin Sheridan

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Published by: Gavin Sheridan on Aug 05, 2009
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12/07/2009

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THE TRIBUNAL RESUMED ON THE 16TH DECEMBER, 2005 AS FOLLOWS:OPENING STATEMENT WAS DELIVERED BY MS. O'BRIEN AS FOLLOWS:
MS. O'BRIEN: Sir, in these public sittings, the Tribunal intends tohear further evidence pursuant to paragraph (d)of its Terms ofReference. Paragraph (d) relates to acts and decisions of Mr. CharlesHaughey, and provides as follows:“Whether Mr. Charles Haughey did any act or made any decision in thecourse of his Ministerial offices to confer any benefit on any personmaking a payment referred to in paragraph (a), or any person who is thesource of money in paragraph (b), or any other person in return forsuch payments being made or procured or directed, any other person todo such an act or make such a decision.Paragraph (d) is connected to paragraphs (a) and (b) of the Tribunal'sTerms of Reference, which respectively provide as follows:Paragraph (a): "Whether any substantial payments were made directly orindirectly to Mr. Charles Haughey, (whether or not used to dischargemonies or debts due by Mr. Charles Haughey or due by any company withwhich he was associated or due by any connected person to Mr. CharlesHaughey within the meaning of the Ethics in Public Office Act 1995 ordischarged at his direction) during any period when he held publicoffice commencing on 1 January, 1979, and thereafter, up to the 31December, 1996, in circumstances giving rise to a reasonable inferencethat the motive for making the payment was connected with any publicoffice held by him or had the potential to influence the dischargeof such office.Paragraph (b) of the Terms of Reference: "The source of any money heldin the Ansbacher accounts for the benefit or in the name of Mr. CharlesHaughey or any other person who holds or who has held Ministerialoffice or in any other bank accounts discovered by the Tribunal to befor the benefit or in the name of Mr. Haughey or for the benefit orin the name of a connected person within the meaning of the Ethics inPublic Office Act 1995 or for the benefit or in the name of any companyowned or controlled by Mr. Haughey."The Tribunal has already heard evidence in connection of bothparagraphs (a) and (b) of its Terms of Reference over the term ofJanuary 1999 to May 2002. In total the Tribunal has to date trackedpayments and sources of money which appear to amount to a figure in theregion of IR£8.5 million.It will be recalled that on 24th September, 1998, the Tribunal sat inpublic and made a statement setting out the Tribunal's theninterpretation of its Terms of Reference. At paragraph No. 24 of itsinterpretation, the Tribunal stated as follows:"Before passing on to outline some of the procedures the Tribunalproposes to adopt, there is one further aspect of the interpretation ofthe Terms of Reference which should be mentioned. This concerns the
 
investigative part of the Tribunal's functions. In performing thispart of its functions, the Tribunal envisages that in most cases itwill proceed from an examination of payments, if any, within the ambitof Term of Reference (a) or the source of funds, if any, within Term ofReference (b) before going on to investigate whether Mr. Haughey madeany act or decision within Term of Reference (d). In other words, itanticipates that it would proceed in performing its investigativefunctions from examining what appear to be "payments" or "sources offunds", if any, to investigating what might appear to be thepotentially related acts or decisions. At the same time, if any "act"or "decision" appearing to come within the ambit of Term of Reference(d)is brought (or comes) to its attention, then the Tribunal would notbe precluded, as part of its investigative function, from examining anysuch act or decision to see whether it came within Term of Reference(d); that is, whether evidence was available which was relevant to beled in public, indicating that there was a relationship to a paymentwithin Term of Reference (a) or a source of funds within Term ofReference (b)."One of the matters into which the Tribunal has pursued inquiries in thecourse of its private investigative work on foot of the procedureenvisaged and elaborated on in paragraph 24 of the Tribunal'sinterpretation of the 24th September 1998 was the granting of Irishcitizenship to foreign nationals by the Minister for Justice. TheTribunal decided that it should review files held by the Department ofJustice relating to aspects of the Irish Nationality and CitizenshipActs 1956 and 1986, including the operation of the investment-basednaturalisation scheme which was adopted in 1988. Orders for productionof the relevant files by the Department of Justice were made.I wish to make it clear that the Department of Justice did not resistthe making of the orders in question and that the procedure was adoptedso as to extend to persons affected by such orders, including therecipients of Irish citizenship, an opportunity to make submissions inconnection with the intended orders.The Tribunal reviewed all of the files produced by the Department ofJustice on foot of those orders. Having undertaken that review, theTribunal decided that the naturalisations, to which I will refer morefully in the course of this Opening Statement, warranted furtherscrutiny, having regard to the following considerations:Firstly, it appeared that the majority of the naturalisations were madeagainst the advice of senior officials within the Department ofJustice. Secondly, it appeared that Mr. Charles Haughey had directlyintervened in relation to one of the naturalisations. Thirdly, itappeared that the persons naturalised may have had connections to aperson who, from evidence heard by the Tribunal, may have made apayment to or may have been a source of funds in a bank account heldfor the benefit of Mr. Charles Haughey within the meaning of paragraphs(a)and (b) of the Tribunal's Terms of Reference.The names of the persons naturalised, all of whom were of Palestinianand Lebanese origin, and the dates of their respective naturalisationswere as follows:Mr. Ibrahim Moubarak, certificate granted on 3 June, 1981;
 
Mr. Razouk Daher, certificate granted on 3 June, 1981;Mr. Philip Noujaim, certificate granted on 3 June 1981;Mr. Kamal Fustok, certificate granted on 3 June, 1981;Mr. Bechara Anis Shoukair, certificate granted on 29 September, 1982;Mr. Michael Albinia, certificate granted on 29 September, 1982;Mr. Slieman Youssef Moubarak, certificate granted on 29
th
September,1982;Mr. Wael Khairi had a certificate granted on 19th September, 1982;Mr. Mohamad Moubarak, then a minor, certificate granted on 29thSeptember, 1982;Mr. Mehsen Youssef Moubarak, then also a minor, certificate granted on29 September, 1982;Mr. Kamal Moukarzel, certificate granted on 8 December, 1982;Mr. Adnan Moubarak certificate granted on 8 December, 1982;Ms. Leila Moubarak certificate granted on 8 December 1982;Mr. Antoine Ghorayeb, certificate granted on 8th December 1982;And finally Ms. Faten Moubarak, then a minor, certificate granted on 4May, 1990.All of these certificates of naturalisation to which I have referredwere issued when Mr. Charles Haughey was Taoiseach. The records inrelation to these naturalisations appear to have been kept by theDepartment of Justice on the same file. In the course of its privateinquiries, the Tribunal has been informed by Dr. John O'Connell, formerCeann Comhairle and former member of the Oireachtas, who appears tohave sponsored and promoted the majority of these applications, thatall of these persons were relatives of or were connected to Mr. MahmoudFustok and that Mr. Kamal Fustok, who was naturalised on 3 June 1981,was the younger brother of Mr. Mahmoud Fustok.It will be recalled that in July 1999, the Tribunal heard evidence inconnection with a lodgement on the 19th February, 1985, of IR£50,000 toan account in Guinness & Mahon Ireland Limited in the name of AmiensSecurities Limited. At this remove, IR£50,000 may not seem to be aparticularly large sum of money, but that sum must be viewed in thecontext of money values at that time. Some two years later, in 1987,the Taoiseach's annual salary was approximately IR£47,000.The Amiens Securities account, to which I have referred, was an accountfrom which it appears that payments for the bill-paying serviceoperated by Haughey Boland on behalf of Mr. Haughey were made. It willbe recalled that the bank's records show that the source of thislodgement was a cheque payable to cash drawn on an account of Dr. JohnO'Connell, former Ceann Comhairle and former member of the Oireachtas.

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