Trial date set for three former Anglo Irish Bank executives
A provisional trial date has been set for January next year in the case of three former executives of Anglo Irish Bank in connection with financial irregularities at the institution.
The bank’s former chairman Seán FitzPatrick, former finance director Willie McAteer and former managing director of the bank in Ireland Pat Whelan appeared before the Circuit Court in Dublin yesterday in front of Judge Mary Ellen Ring.
The court heard that 24 million documents may have to be considered in relation to the case and that the trial will take a minimum of three months.
Counsel for the Director of Public Prosecutions, Una Ní Raifeartaigh, told the court that disclosure in this case was particularly complex.
Ms Ní Raifeartaigh said time was required for the defence to absorb a large volume of material.
Senior counsel for Mr Whelan, Brendan Grehan, told the court that 24 million documents may have to be considered in some way or other in relation to the case.
“It will be considerably more complex than any previous case,” Mr Grehan said.
Noting that the charges dated back to 2008 and that the three former Anglo executives had been sent for trial on October 8th last, the judge said she was of a mind to fix a date for trial early next year, adding that, by doing so, it would bring “some structure” to the case.
The judge set a provisional trial date of January 13th, 2014, and put the case in for mention again on March 6th.
All three men were present in court for the hearing yesterday morning. Seán FitzPatrick, wearing a dark coat and a red scarf, sat at the back of the court beside Pat Whelan who wore a black coat over an open shirt and took notes on a piece of paper during the hearing.
Willie McAteer sat in the row in front of them and wore a dark coat and scarf.
The three men were charged last year following a 3½ year investigation by detectives from the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation attached to the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement into alleged financial irregularities at Anglo Irish Bank.
It is alleged that before Anglo was nationalised in 2009, the three men permitted the bank to give unlawful financial assistance, prohibited under company law, to 16 individuals – six members of the family of businessman Seán Quinn and 10 customers of the bank, known as the “Maple 10” – to buy Anglo shares.
Separately, Mr FitzPatrick faces charges of failing to disclose an arrangement between Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide Building Society under which the building society loaned him money between 2002 and 2007; and allegedly deceiving the failed bank’s auditors in relation to his personal loans over the same period.