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Friday 29 August 2014

Jury must decide if AIB 'unfair' to fraud accused

Shane Hickey London

Published 11/01/2013 | 05:00

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THE jury in the trial of two men accused of orchestrating a massive fraud against AIB has been told it must decide whether the bank was being unreasonable when it demanded €380m overnight after the allegations emerged.

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Judge Andrew Goymer yesterday continued his closing remarks to the jury in the case of Achilleas Kallakis and Alexander Williams, who both deny a series of fraud charges relating to €920m worth of property loans that were taken out between 2003 and 2008.

When the allegations emerged in 2008 that the loans were secured using false rental guarantees, AIB demanded €380m in 24 hours to cover the loss of value of the properties and the repayment of reverse premiums – money paid previously by the bank for the guarantor to enter the deal.

Intransigent

Briefing the jury yesterday, the judge said Mr Kallakis claimed he had been trying to make reasonable proposals to refinance the deals but claimed the bank was being unreasonable and intransigent.

Judge Goymer told the jury that they would have to decide whether the bank acted unreasonably or unfairly when it made the demand.

Both of the defendants deny 23 fraud charges related to claims they used false guarantees from Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) in order to secure the loans.

The judge said the jury must decide whether the defendants acted dishonestly in getting loans in the first extent and whether they were sure of the case the prosecution is making.

Mr Kallakis has maintained that he believed the guarantees to be genuine.

The judge's final remarks come at the end of the lengthy trial, which began in September, and they are expected to end today, when the jury will be sent out to make its verdict in the case.

Irish Independent

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