Serious failure in the administration of justice
The striking out of a fraud case against Constantin Iosca this week represents a serious failure in the administration of justice. Mr Iosca had sued the Motor Insurer’s Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) but his claim was withdrawn in January 2020 and the matter was referred to the gardai. He was subsequently charged.
The charge followed a failed High Court claim he made over a 2016 accident in which he said an untraceable car knocked him off his bicycle. He had been facing trial, but the charge was struck out in Dublin District Court this week after the Court was told a book of evidence was not ready. A state solicitor informed the Court that the book of evidence was not ready because statements were awaited from MIBI and this had been delayed because of the pandemic.
This explanation is not good enough.
The MIBI is a non-profit-making organisation, established in 1955 by the then Government and those companies underwriting motor insurance in Ireland. Its principal role is to compensate victims of road traffic accidents caused by uninsured and unidentified vehicles. It is funded by a levy on motor insurance companies. This levy is recouped by those companies through a levy on all motor policy holders. We pay for the MIBI.
ISME understand that this prosecution included the first known charge under Section 14 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004, which makes it a criminal offence to produce an affidavit in a personal injuries action which is “false or misleading in any material respect.” In comparison to other white-collar or fraud offences, this offence should not be a difficult crime to prosecute, since the accused essentially produces the most important piece of evidence against themselves.
ISME CEO Neil McDonnell said today 8th January,
‘This was a landmark case. The reported failure of the MIBI in the production of a book of evidence in good time is unacceptable. Their failure should be investigated by the Minister for Justice or the Minister for Finance and parties identified within MIBI who are complicit in this failure must be held to account.’
It is still open to the MIBI to institute its own private prosecution against Mr Iosca, and ISME would expect them to do so.