No State witness called to support conspiracy trial claim, court told

Relevance of ‘green jersey agenda’ highlighted once more

The State has called no expert witness to prove that the €7.2 billion deal at the heart of a conspiracy to defraud trial had no commercial substance, lawyers for one accused has said.

Four former executives from Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Life & Permanent (ILP) are accused of conspiring to mislead investors about the true health of Anglo is now in its closing stages.

John Bowe (52) from Glasnevin, Dublin, Willie McAteer (65) of Greenrath, Tipperary Town, Co. Tipperary, Denis Casey (56), from Raheny, Dublin, Peter Fitzpatrick (63) of Convent Lane, Portmarnock, Dublin have all pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to conspiring together and with others to mislead investors by setting up a €7.2 billion circular transaction scheme between March 1st and September 30th, 2008 to bolster Anglo's balance sheet.

On Friday morning, Diarmaid McGuinness SC concluded his closing speech on behalf of Anglo’s former head of capital markets Mr Bowe. He began his speech on Wednesday afternoon.


The jury will next hear a closing speech from Patrick Gageby SC on behalf of Mr McAteer, Anglo’s former head of finance.

Mr McGuinness told the jury that the State's expert witness, chartered accountant Mark Hunt, had failed to take a number of things into account when he concluded that the Anglo/ILP deal had no commercial or economic substance.

Irish accountant

Counsel said that Mr Hunt, who has worked for the UK’s financial conduct authority, had considered as irrelevant the “green jersey agenda” - the State “policy of banks attempting to support each other”.

“I wonder if you could have gotten an Irish accountant to say that,” Mr McGuinness asked.

He said Mr Hunt also failed to consider the long-term interests of both parties and the threat to the survival of Anglo as well as the context of the banking crisis at the time.

"They haven't called anyone from the financial regulator or the Central Bank to offer any insight whatsoever. We haven't heard a dicky bird from them or from the Department of Finance. I would have thought you might have expected to have somebody in the box," he told the jury.

Mr McGuinness said that Mr Bowe's chief executive at the time, David Drumm, was the driver of the deal with ILP and had set the target of €7.2 billion.

“My client’s involvement is no more or no less that that of many of the witnesses,” counsel said.

“You have no evidence he intended to join a dishonest scheme. You have clear evidence he thought the deposits were lawful,” he said.

The jury, before Judge Martin Nolan, will hear a closing speech from lawyers for former ILP executives Mr Casey and Mr Fitzpatrick over the coming days.