Appeals against the convictions of two former Anglo Irish Bank officials have begun at the Court of Appeal in Dublin.
Tiarnan O'Mahoney, former chief operations officer at Anglo, and Bernard Daly, former company secretary, were jailed for conspiring to falsify bank records and conspiring to defraud the Revenue Commissioners.
O'Mahoney (56) of Glen Pines, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, was also convicted of furnishing incorrect information to the Revenue Commissioners in 2003. On July 31st last year, he was sentenced to three years in prison by Judge Patrick McCartan, at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
Daly (67), of Collins Avenue West, Whitehall, Dublin was sentenced to two years in prison.
The men are appealing their convictions and the length of their sentences.
Last December, the Court of Appeal quashed an 18-month sentence imposed on former Anglo assistant manager Aoife Maguire, for her role in the conspiracy. The court said the sentence was too severe. They substituted a new nine-month sentence in its place and suspended the unserved portion, releasing her from prison.
Brendan Grehan SC, for O’Mahoney, said there were 21 grounds on which his client was making his appeal, but the fundamental complaint was that he did not receive a fair trial.
He said there were a series of erroneous adverse rulings made by the judge that resulted in the guilty verdict.
Lorcan Staines BL, also for O'Mahoney, said there were two unusual features in the investigations, on which the trial was based. The first was that the investigation had been outsourced to a fraud investigator within Anglo, Patrick Peake, and the second was gardaí were working against the statutory time limit.
He said Mr Peake became centrally involved in an Anglo investigation in 2010 into loans related to a more senior bank official and submitted a suspicious transaction report to the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigations. He said Mr Peake was investigating for his own purposes, to ensure the bank was aware of any potential frauds. He was not a trained garda, and didn’t have a garda working with him and didn’t produce documents to the level of proving a criminal case.
He also said his client had not been charged with the offences he faced in court within the statutory time limit of 10 years. He argued a suggestion by the Director of Public Prosecutions that there was no time limit was incorrect. And he said the reason there was no authority to show the court on the issue of the time limit was "because the DPP has never done this before".
Referring to the charge that O'Mahoney had furnishing incorrect information to the Revenue Commissioners in 2003 by leaving out the account of John Peter O'Toole from a list to be provided on foot of a High Court order, Mr Staines said the bank had in fact included Mr O'Toole's name.
The appeal continues before Mr Justice Birmingham, sitting with Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan and Mr Justice John Edwards.