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Wed June 16 2021

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Guilty pleas lodged in Edinburgh corruption trial

14 May 15 Four men have pleaded guilty to corruption charges in a long-running investigation into the allocation of building work contracts by City of Edinburgh Council.

Two men employed by Edinburgh-based Action Building Contracts (ABC) are accused of giving two local council officials more than £30,000-worth of hospitality and other inducements. Two former council employees are charged with accepting them.

The investigation, which has been ongoing since 2010, has concluded with a guilty plea this week from Brendan Cantwell (age 44), Kevin Balmer (54), Charles Owenson (62), and James Costello (44). Cantwell and Balmer are the former council employees; Owenson and Costello were directors of ABC. They will appear again at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Friday 15th May.

Detective Inspector Arron Clinkscales said:  “This enquiry has attracted significant media coverage due to the misuse of public funds. Where reports of fraud or corruption in public office are made, Police Scotland will investigate such allegations thoroughly and robustly.”

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