Former Anglo chiefs' trial date set
A provisional trial date has been set for January 2014 in the case of three former executives of Anglo Irish Bank.
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 this morning 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 it will take a minimum of three months.
Counsel for the Director of Public Prosecutions, Una Ni Raifeartaigh, told the court that disclosure, which was ongoing, was "particularly complex" in this case.
She said time was required for the defence to absorb the high level of material which the prosecution would provide.
The judge said she was of a mind to fix a date for trial in the first term of 2014, 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.
Mr FitzPatrick (64), the former chairman and chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank, was last month released on bail after appearing in court charged with deceiving the failed bank’s auditors in relation to his personal loans over a six year period.
He appeared before Judge Michael Walsh at Dublin District Court charged with 12 offences between 2002 and 2007, under section 197 of the Companies Act 1990.
Six of the charges relate to Mr FitzPatrick knowingly excluding or failing to disclose the true amount of borrowings to him or persons close to him in statements to the bank’s auditors Ernst Young.
Mr FitzPatrick is alleged to have authorised arrangements “to ensure that the balance of those loans would or would appear temporarily to be reduced at year-end”.
He is alleged to have made false statements to Ernst Young in relation to a reduction to those borrowings of not less than €5.1 million on or about November 27th, 2002; and €14 million on or about November 25th, 2003.
Further such statements were made in relation to sums of not less than €23 million on or about November 23rd, 2004; €42.1 million on or about November 22nd, 2005; €60.9 million on or about December 5th, 2006; and €139.8 million on or about November 27th, 2007.
He was also charged with six counts 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.
Mr FitzPatrick and two other former employees of the failed Anglo Irish Bank have previously appeared in court in connection with financial irregularities at the institution, now part of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation.
Anglo finance director Willie McAteer and the bank’s former managing director for Ireland, Patrick Whelan, were charged in July along with Mr FitzPatrick.
The three men were charged this summer following a three- 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 the failed bank.
The charges allege that before Anglo was nationalised, the three men permitted the bank to “give unlawful financial assistance” to 16 individuals for the purpose of, or in connection with, a purchase by the same people of shares in the then Anglo Irish Bank Corporation.