Council repairs: Eight men deny bribery charges

Eight men have appeared in court over the charges. Picture: Andrew O'Brien
Eight men have appeared in court over the charges. Picture: Andrew O'Brien
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Eight men appeared in Edinburgh Sheriff Court today in connection with alleged bribes to City of Edinburgh Council officials for the award of contracts for the repair and maintenance of public buildings.

All the accused pled not guilty in front of Sheriff Isabella McColl. Trial date was set for May of next year.

It is alleged that between January 6, 2006, and November 10, 2010, Kevin Balmer, Brendan Cantwell, Gordon McKenzie and Graham Campbell, employees of ABC Ltd, corruptly gave or caused to be given sums of money, hospitality and goods and services to Charles Owenson, James Costello, Martin Rennie and John Markham, officers of the City Council, in respect of the allocation of a number of contracts for the repair and maintenance of public buildings, contrary to the Public Bodies Corrupt Practices Act 1889.

It is claimed that £61,904 was paid over in money, £35,749 in hospitality and £2672 in goods and materials. The ABC Ltd employees also denied that they added the costs of the alleged bribes to the invoices they submitted to the City Council for the legitimate work they had carried out.