Two representatives appearing for FitzPatrick 'bizarre', 'unprecedented'
THE APPEARANCE of two separate representatives for former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Seán FitzPatrick at bankruptcy proceedings in the High Court yesterday was “somewhat bizarre” and “unprecedented”, the presiding judge said. Miss Justice Elizabeth Dunne said she had never seen such a thing happen before and it was very “unusual”.
Bernard Dunleavy was present in court to represent Mr FitzPatrick in the bankruptcy proceedings. But an application was made by his criminal courts solicitor, Michael Staines, who is representing him in legal action involving Anglo Irish Bank, to have the case adjourned pending the criminal trial.
Mr Staines told Miss Justice Dunne the court should not proceed with questioning Mr FitzPatrick, allowed under section 21 of the Bankruptcy Acts, until the outcome of the criminal case.
Official assignee Chris Lehane, the court official who takes charge of assets in bankruptcy cases, wanted to examine Mr FitzPatrick about the ownership of a London office investment property.
Mr Staines told the Court the Director of Public Prosecutions was also “thinking about” the bankruptcy case and was “concerned about it”. She may be making an application herself to have the bankruptcy proceedings adjourned, he said.
Miss Justice Dunne said at the last hearing she had directed that an affidavit be filed outlining the practical reasons why the case should be put back and whether or not there could be a conflict, but this had not been done.
Mr Dunleavy said he was aware of that, but it was not he who was seeking to adjourn the matter.
“But someone on behalf of Seán FitzPatrick is,” the judge said.
She instructed Mr Staines to file an affidavit explaining why she should “put matters back” until after the criminal case.
The former Anglo Irish Bank chairman was declared bankrupt in July 2010. Mr FitzPatrick is estimated to have debts of €150 million and assets of €47 million. He was sent forward for trial at the Circuit Criminal Court on charges of providing unlawful financial assistance to 16 individuals in July 2008.