Anonymous call to DPP disrupts trial of three ex-Anglo officials

Caller suggested the wife of the jury foreman was a friend of one of the accused

Former Anglo Irish Bank official Aoife Maguire. Photograph: Court Collins

Former Anglo Irish Bank official Aoife Maguire. Photograph: Court Collins

 

Allegations made in an anonymous phone call to the Director of Public Prosecutions led to a last-minute application to have the jury discharged in the trial of three former Anglo Irish Bank officials yesterday.

The caller had alleged the wife of the jury foreman was a friend of one of the accused, Aoife Maguire.

Shortly after 12.30pm the jury indicated they had reached a verdict.

But when the court assembled, Dominic McGinn SC, for the prosecution, told Judge Patrick McCartan there had been a development.

In the absence of the jury, he said the office of the DPP had received a phone call from an anonymous caller claiming the jury was not “wholly independent”.

He was reluctant to allow any verdict to be returned if there was any indication of jury tampering or irregularity, he said.

Jury called out

The judge called out the jury and told them administrative work needed to be done and he would speak to them at 2pm.

When the court returned, Mr McGinn said there was a doubt as to the veracity of the claims and the DPP did not want to take the matters any further.

Brendan Grehan SC, for O’Mahoney, suggested the sanctity of the jury deliberations were breached and there could be a suggestion of undue influence on jurors.

He called for the jury to be discharged.

Judge McCartan refused his application.