Drumm proposes home detention as condition of bail release

Lawyers for former banker call extradition case ‘curious’ coming in run-up to elections

Former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm has proposed remaining in detention at home and subjecting himself to electronic monitoring as a condition of his release on bail pending his US extradition hearing.

In a lengthy filing submitted to a Boston court, Mr Drumm's lawyers set out six special circumstances outlining why he should be released from detention while he fights his extradition back to Ireland to face 33 charges relating to transactions when he ran the bank.

The filing was made ahead of a bail hearing in the Massachusetts District Court due to take place in Boston on Friday when Mr Drumm's lawyers will make their case before a judge.

The US attorney in Massachusetts, acting on behalf of the Irish Government, has told the court that they will seek his continued detention until his extradition hearing because he is a flight risk.

‘Political purpose’

Mr Drumm’s lawyers told the court in a filing yesterday that it was being presented with “a highly unusual extradition application that has languished for years with the Government of Ireland.”

His lawyers elaborate on an earlier claim that his extradition is being sought for a “political purpose,” noting that the US proceedings have been brought in the run-up to an Irish general election.

“Ireland’s delay - and the timing of its sudden action in its extradition request, coming as it has during the run-up to the pending Irish elections - is, well, curious at best,” his three-man team argues.

“And this alone creates special circumstances that justify Mr Drumm’s secure release on bail pending resolution of the Irish extradition request.”

The former banker has been held in the United States in four different facilities in two states for nearly a month since he was arrested on October 10th, the Saturday morning of a three-day holiday weekend, in front of his wife and one young daughter, the lawyers said.

They say it is “undisputed that Mr Drumm poses no danger to the community” and “no risk of flight” having lived with his wife and young family and worked in the Boston area for more than a decade.

“He has offered a fully secure bail package, including home detention, electronic monitoring, the family’s home and passports, and the Massachusetts homes of three of his business colleagues, among other guarantees,” they said in a memo supporting his bail application.

Flight risk

Mr Drumm and their two young daughters have lived openly in Wellesley, Massachusetts “for the past many years,” the memo states.

The Dubliner (49) “has never fled from Ireland” and despite being the subject of “relentless negative press coverage” he voluntarily provided a detailed written statement to the Irish parliamentary inquiry into the banking crisis and also “offered video testimony.”

"Although Mr Drumm has been told for several years that an extradition request was inevitable, he has taken absolutely no steps to hide, flee, or relocate to a country without an extradition treaty," his lawyers, Tracy Miner, Edward McNally and Daniel Fetterman said in the filing.

They also told the court that last winter Mr Drumm’s Boston attorney contacted the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts and alerted the US government that the Irish authorities might be seeking his extradition.

They notified the US government that “far from being a fugitive,” Mr Drumm alerted the US authorities to his whereabouts and told them that he “was available to voluntarily surrender to the United States in the event an extradition warranted issued by Ireland.”

His legal team argue that Mr Drumm has "long and deep ties to the greater Boston community, is gainfully employed by a respected New York asset management company, and his employer has stood by him and has kept his job open, awaiting his release on bail and home confinement," according to the 26-page memo submitted to court.

“Numerous members of Mr Drumm’s business, church and other communities have written letters in his support, and several have pledged substantial assets or their own Massachusetts homes as guarantees in support of his application for bail.”


Among at least six special circumstances which his legal team claims are grounds for his release on bail, they cite Ireland’s constitutional presumption favouring bail, arguing that the Irish authorities regularly grant bail for the offences for which Mr Drumm is charged.

They also claim that the Irish Government “substantially delayed charging and seeking the extradition of Mr Drumm.”

He is “being charged with conduct that occurred in 2008 - more than seven years ago,” his lawyers state, underlining the “seven” for emphasis.

“Ireland’s delay has been so substantial that, under US law, any action against Mr Drumm would have been long ago barred by the statute of limitations,” they argue.

His release on bail is also warranted because the upcoming extradition proceedings are complicated and “are likely to result in many years of process and undue delay,” his legal team argues.

“The proceedings involve extraordinarily complex financial matters that took place more than seven years ago, and are expected to include tens of million of pages of documents,” they claim.

“Mr Drumm, his counsel and the accountants and experts they will inevitably have to retain, will need to invest a substantial amount of time analysing the record and locating additional evidence.”


The former banker is also pleading for his release on grounds that his wife and daughters depend upon his income and that he is the sole source of income to them. He should be permitted to provide for his family “during the lengthy extradition proceedings ahead,” they state.

His lawyers also argue that if he is “incarcerated without bail for the next several years he cannot adequately prepare his defence or exercise his constitutional right to the effective assistance of counsel.”

The filings also disclose that Mr Drumm has hired Dublin solicitor Michael Staines, who has also been representing his former Anglo Irish Bank colleagues, Sean FitzPatrick, the bank's former chairman, and Pat Whelan, Anglo's former head of lending in Ireland.

Mr Staines has submitted an affidavit to the US court, supporting Mr Drumm’s application for bail and outlining how the Irish authorities did not begin issuing warrants for Mr Drumm’s arrest until July 2014 and did not seek his extradition until December 2014.

The solicitor also notes in his affidavit that Mr Drumm’s former colleagues who were or have been charged with the same criminal offences in Ireland have been granted bail by the Irish courts.

Mr Drumm’s 80-year-old mother and 44-year-old sister were among those who wrote letters to Magistrate Judge Donald Cabell, who will hear Friday’s bail application, in support of his release from custody.

As a condition of his bail, the former banker has offered to surrender the passports of his wife, two daughters and himself, and to put up the family home.

In addition, several of Mr Drumm’s colleagues and friends offered as security significant personal assets, personal recognisance bonds of $1 million and three other homes in Massachusetts with estimated values ranging from about $600,000 to $2.8 million.

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell is The Irish Times’s Public Affairs Editor and former Washington correspondent