Wednesday 23 August 2017

DPP moves to stop publication of Anglo boss Drumm’s written statement

Changes likely to be demanded if publication is allowed at all

David Drumm
David Drumm
John Downing

John Downing

THE Director of Public Prosecutions has intervened to stop the Oireachtas bank inquiry publishing a statement by former Anglo Irish bank boss, David Drumm.

The 11-member committee of TDs and Senators met in private session this morning to consider a communication from the DPP raising concerns about their plan to publish Mr Drumm’s statement.

The DPP is insisting that at very least cuts must be made to Mr Drumm’s written statement – and they may insist on blocking publication altogether.

Sources at Leinster House said a decision will be made later today after more contacts with the DPP’s office and the committee.

The DPP’s concerns relate to ongoing cases and investigations.

The committee had met for five hours yesterday to consider their next move after proposals to hear Mr Drumm by video-link were abandoned on instruction from the DPP. They confirmed that the video-hearing, pencilled in for today, will not go ahead.

But they did decide to accept Mr Drumm’s written statement and publish it later today. In this Mr Drumm appears to challenge some items given in evidence by former Taoiseach Brian Cowen.

That may raise questions about whether Mr Cowen, who was given a copy of Mr Drumm’s statement, should be recalled or at least required to give an additional statement.  But it was  understood that this issue will not be dealt with until after the hearings have concluded in September.

The committee made no decision on extending the list of witnesses to include some Finance Department officials who raised warnings about the state of the economy before the 2008 banking crash. Officials said that issue will be kept under review.

And for the first time sources close to the process have conceded that the November 30 deadline for the final report may have to be extended. This is due to the review of whistleblower allegations by senior counsel, Senan Allen, which may take some time to complete.

The banking inquiry will today also hear from former Tanaiste Mary Harney and Environment Minister John Gormley. This will mainly focus on the events up to and including the bank guarantee of September 29/30 2008 when the ministers were part of the coalition government with Fianna Fáil headed by Mr Cowen. 

At the time Mr Gorman was leader of the Green Party while Ms Harney was Tanaiste and leader of the Progressive Democrats. They will also be asked about events leading to the EU-ECB-IMF bailout in November 2010.

Sources at Leinster House stressed that signalling the prospect of an extended final report deadline beyond November 30 was precautionary. One official said it would not be possible to give any deadline for the senior counsel’s review of the whistleblower allegations.

 

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