Ex-An­glo ex­ec­u­tive seek­ing le­gal costs


Wicklow People (Arklow) - - NEWS -

EX-AN­GLO Ir­ish Bank ex­ec­u­tive, Tiarnan O’Ma­honey, is seek­ing le­gal costs of his orig­i­nal trial for con­spir­ing to con­ceal bank ac­counts from the Rev­enue Com­mis­sion­ers, on top of costs for his suc­cess­ful ap­peal against con­vic­tion and sub­se­quent ac­quit­tal.

Mr O’Ma­honey (58) of Glen Pines, En­niskerry, was orig­i­nally found guilty by a jury in 2015 of know­ingly fur­nish­ing false in­for­ma­tion and con­spir­ing to de­fraud the Rev­enue as well as con­spir­ing to have ac­counts deleted from the bank’s in­ter­nal sys­tem. The ac­counts were al­leged to have been con­nected to the bank’s for­mer CEO Seán Fitz­patrick.

Mr O’Ma­honey suc­cess­fully ap­pealed his con­vic­tion in March 2016 with the Court of Ap­peal hold­ing that a sub­stan­tial num­ber of doc­u­ments were wrong­fully ad­mit­ted into ev­i­dence and that the false in­for­ma­tion charge was brought out­side of a ten year time limit.

A re­trial was or­dered in re­spect of Mr O’Ma­honey, An­glo’s for­mer Chief Op­er­a­tions Of­fi­cer, which re­sulted in his ac­quit­tal on all charges by di­rec­tion of the trial judge last year. Mr O’Ma­honey has no con­vic­tions aris­ing out of the so-called An­glo tri­als.

The Court of Ap­peal had awarded costs to Mr O’Ma­honey, who has not been on le­gal aid, for his suc­cess­ful ap­peal. How­ever, an is­sue has arisen over pre­cisely ‘what was said’ in re­la­tion to costs for the orig­i­nal trial and re­trial.

Pres­i­dent of the Court of Ap­peal Mr Jus­tice Ge­orge Birm­ing­ham di­rected that the dig­i­tal au­dio record­ing of the or­der for a re­trial be made avail­able to both sides, on foot of an ap­pli­ca­tion by Mr O’Ma­honey’s lawyers.

Coun­sel for Mr O’Ma­honey, Bren­dan Gre­han SC, said his client was seek­ing costs for the orig­i­nal trial and the mat­ter came be­fore Judge Martin Nolan on Mon­day. Judge Nolan was the judge for Mr O’Ma­honey’s re­trial.

Mr O’Ma­honey, who was not in court for the brief mat­ter, orig­i­nally stood trial along­side An­glo’s for­mer com­pany sec­re­tary, Bernard Daly (68) of Collins Av­enue West, White­hall, in Dublin and an as­sis­tant man­ager in the bank Aoife Maguire (64) of Rothe Abbey, South Cir­cu­lar Road, in Kil­main­ham.

Mr Daly and Mr O’Ma­honey suc­cess­fully ap­pealed their con­vic­tions and a re­trial was or­dered in re­spect of Mr O’Ma­honey only. Ms Maguire suc­cess­fully ap­pealed against the sever­ity of her sen­tence only and her con­vic­tion still stands.

Quash­ing Mr Daly’s and Mr O’Ma­honey’s con­vic­tions in March 2016, Mr Jus­tice Ge­orge Birm­ing­ham said they ‘should not have had to stand trial’ on the charge of fur­nish­ing false in­for­ma­tion be­cause the pro­ceed­ings were not com­menced within the ten year time limit.

They also suc­cess­fully con­tended that a sub­stan­tial num­ber of doc­u­ments were wrongly ad­mit­ted in ev­i­dence.

Mr Jus­tice Birm­ing­ham said the docu- ments, which the trial judge ruled ad­mis­si­ble, were ‘vi­tal to the pros­e­cu­tion case’. These doc­u­ments al­lowed the wit­nesses – a fraud in­ves­ti­ga­tor within An­glo, Pa­trick Peake – to trace for the jury and to ex­plain and il­lus­trate the means by which An­glo ac­counts were opened, kept, how own­er­ship was des­ig­nated, how funds were sourced, moved be­tween dif­fer­ent ac­counts and how the names of dif­fer­ent ac­counts were changed or re-des­ig­nated at var­i­ous times.

In cir­cum­stances where cru­cial doc­u­men­tary ev­i­dence was ad­mit­ted in breach of the hearsay rule, Mr Jus­tice Birm­ing­ham said the court must up­hold this ground of ap­peal.

The ques­tion of a re-trial did not arise for Mr Daly be­cause, the court con­cluded, there was in­suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence to go be­fore the jury.

Mr O’Ma­honey’s po­si­tion was dif­fer­ent. His ‘om­nibus’ ground of ap­peal con­cern­ing mul­ti­ple com­plaints re­lated to the trial in the sum­mer of 2015 did not pre­clude the or­der­ing of a re-trial, Mr Jus­tice Birm­ing­ham said.

At O’Ma­honey’s sub­se­quent re­trial, Judge Martin Nolan di­rected the jury to ac­quit him on all charges.

Judge Nolan said that af­ter con­sid­er­ing ar­gu­ments from both sides he had re­luc­tantly come to the con­clu­sion that the case was ‘too ten­u­ous’ to go to the jury and a con­vic­tion would be ‘per­verse’.

‘The ev­i­dence of con­spir­acy to do the acts with which Mr O’Ma­honey is charged is too ten­u­ous, too re­mote in both sub­stance and in time,’

He said he was not sat­is­fied that any prop­erly di­rected jury could con­vict in these cir­cum­stances, as they would be asked to spec­u­late and to fill in gaps in the ev­i­dence ad­duced dur­ing the trial.

Judge Nolan said there was ev­ery rea­son to be sus­pi­cious of Mr O’Ma­honey’s ac­tiv­i­ties in Oc­to­ber and Novem­ber 2003, and his sub­se­quent deal­ings with gar­daí. But, he said, in the ab­sence of for­mal ev­i­dence of con­spir­acy with Aoife Maguire this was not enough.

Tiarnan O’Ma­honey.

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