Seán FitzPatrick’s bid to halt trial adjourned at High Court

Former Anglo chief claims he cannot get fair hearing due to adverse publicity

Former chairman of Anglo Irish Bank Seán FitzPatrick. File Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Former chairman of Anglo Irish Bank Seán FitzPatrick. File Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

 

An application by former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Seán FitzPatrick to stop his criminal trial going ahead at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court will be heard at the High Court next week.

Mr FitzPatrick is facing 27 charges including making a misleading, false or deceptive statement to auditors and of furnishing false information from 2002 to 2007.

He has pleaded not guilty.

At the Circuit Court earlier this month, Judge Martin Nolan ruled the trial should proceed on October 5th. He rejected an application made on behalf of Mr FitzPatrick (66) for an adjournment due to concerns about negative publicity surrounding the separate trial of three former Anglo officials.

Tiarnan O’Mahoney, Bernard Daly and Aoife Maguire were jailed in July for trying to hide accounts from the Revenue Commissioners between March 2003 and December 2004.

On Friday, Bernard Condon SC, for Mr FitzPatrick, told Mr Justice John Hedigan he was seeking leave from the court to apply for a judicial review of Judge Nolan’s decision.

Paul O’Higgins SC, for the DPP, said he was anxious to “telescope matters” and would prepare papers in the case on the basis that leave for a judicial review had been granted.

Mr O’Higgins said he had concerns about media coverage of the judicial review application if the consequence was that all of the matters that had been reported in the media were re-reported.

He told the judge the DPP would be making an application that the substance of the application would not be reported until after the criminal trial.

Mr Condon said Twitter couldn’t be controlled and had been “buzzing of late” about matters from the previous trial. He said the DPP wanted no publicity on matters that might not suit her, while his client had “suffered the deluge”.

Mr Justice Hedigan said he thought the leave for review and the review itself could be dealt with on the same day, next Friday.

Mr Justice Hedigan told parties to exchange papers by Tuesday evening with responses by Wednesday evening. He adjourned the case to August 28th.