29/09/2010

Callely Court Date Set For Next Week

The next hearing of Ivor Callely's case against the Seanad Committee over his expenses claims has been scheduled for next Tuesday.

Senator Callely took the proceedings after being suspended from the Seanad by the committee for 20 days over a number of allegedly fraudulent expense claims.

The High Court will hear from lawyers for the senator seeking access to transcripts of the committee's private sessions, which have been denied so far by the opposing side.

The Seanad Committee claimed in court the documents are privileged leading to a delay in the hearing until next week for the matter to be settled. President of High Court Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns said the case had been given priority and would be heard next Tuesday 5 October.

Counsel for Mr Callely, Michael O'Higgins, said it seemed vital that the Senator should have access to transcripts of the committee's private sessions.

As today's court date emerged, Fine Gael Senator Eugene Regan said that despite the ongoing court action, any attempt by Ivor Callely to take his seat when the Seanad resumes today "should not be tolerated".

Mr Regan's comments came after speculation Mr Callely would appear in the Seanad today on the basis of his High Court action against the Committee on Members’ Interests.

"Any notion Ivor Callely has of taking his Seanad seat, thus violating his 20-day suspension, should be forgotten completely," Mr Regan said.

(DW)

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