Jury de­lib­er­a­tions set to re­sume again to­day


Bray People - - NEWS -

THE JURY will to­day ( Wed­nes­day) re­sume its de­lib­er­a­tions in the trial of three for­mer An­glo Ir­ish Bank ex­ec­u­tives ac­cused of il­le­gally lend­ing money to buy shares in the bank.

The case has lasted 10 weeks and in­volved 53 wit­nesses.

For­mer An­glo chair­man Sean Fitz­patrick and ex-di­rec­tors Wil­liam McA­teer and Pat Whelan, are charged at Dublin Cir­cuit Crim­i­nal Court with breach­ing Sec­tion 60 of the Com­pa­nies Act 1963 by lend­ing money to in­vestors to buy shares in An­glo.

Whelan (51) of Malahide, Dublin and McA­teer ( 63) of Rath­gar, Dublin are ac­cused of 16 counts of pro­vid­ing un­law­ful fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance to 16 in­di­vid­u­als in July 2008 to buy shares in the bank. The 16 in­di­vid­u­als are six mem­bers of the Quinn fam­ily and the Maple Ten group of in­vestors.

Fitz­patrick ( 65), from Grey­stones, is charged with 10 counts of loan­ing money to the Maple Ten.

On Wed­nes­day last, the jury in the trial was di­rected to find Fitz­patrick not guilty on six additional counts re­lat­ing to the Quinn fam­ily.

The jury were also di­rected to find for­mer An­glo Head of Lend­ing in Ire­land Pat Whelan not guilty on an­other seven charges. These counts al­leged that he was privy to the al­ter­ation of loan fa­cil­ity letters to seven in­di­vid­u­als in Oc­to­ber 2008.

In his clos­ing speech Michael O'Hig­gins SC, de­fend­ing Sean Fitz­patrick, said the An­glo trans­ac­tion was like ‘1916 in re­verse'.

‘ When the lads were taken out of the GPO at first they were spat upon and jeered at by the people,' he said, ‘and only when they were ex­e­cuted did they be­come he­roes'.

Mr. O'Hig­gins said that when the An­glo deal was done, ev­ery­body was ‘glo­ri­ously happy' at first, but then the cli­mate changed. Mr O'Hig­gins told the jurors that if they de­cide the loan was in the or­di­nary course of busi­ness, they must ac­quit Mr Fitz­patrick.

If they de­cide it wasn't, they must de­cide on what ba­sis it wasn't, for ex­am­ple the al­leged ‘ trick­i­ness' of the pa­per­work or the 25 per cent re­course on the loan.

Mr. O'Hig­gins said the prose­cu­tion has con­ceded that the pa­per­work was be­yond his client's con­trol. He also claimed there is no ev­i­dence sug­gest­ing Fitz­patrick was aware of the 25 per cent per­sonal re­course en­joyed by the Maple Ten.

Be­fore the jury started its de­lib­er­a­tions Judge Martin Nolan spent over an hour ad­dress­ing the jury on le­gal is­sues and on the facts of the case.

Judge Nolan told jurors that they must have ‘moral courage' and leave any prej­u­dices at the court­room door. He said some would say An­glo ‘is the most fa­mous or in­fa­mous bank in this coun­try' but the jurors must try the case on the ev­i­dence only.

The Maple Ten deal was de­signed to un­wind the 29.4 per cent con­trol of the bank which busi­ness­man Sean Quinn had built up through in­vest­ment tools known as Con­tracts for Dif­fer­ence (CFDs).

The ten in­vestors were loaned a to­tal of €450 mil­lion by An­glo to buy around 10 per cent of the shares which Mr Quinn con­trolled. Mr Quinn's wife and five chil­dren were also loaned €169 mil­lion to buy nearly 15 per cent of the stock.

Sean Fitz­patrick.

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