independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Shatter: Nothing to stop Cowen revealing Anglo contacts

Taoiseach Brian Cowen at a cabinet meeting in February 2011

THE Justice Minister has reiterated calls for former ministers, including the Taoiseach in 2008 Brian Cowen, to reveal exactly what contacts they had with Anglo bankers during the crash.

"There are former ministers who have retired,” Alan Shatter said.

“There is a former Taoiseach at the centre of this. There's nothing to stop them telling us publicly today what engagements they had of a direct nature with executives in Anglo Irish," he said.

Mr Shatter said he fully backed Taoiseach Enda Kenny's assessment that there was an "axis of collusion" between politicians and bankers around the time of the banking collapse.

He said there are legitimate questions in the public interest on who held talks with bankers and what they talked about.

Speaking on RTE Radio, Mr Shatter also said it would have been inappropriate if gardai or other investigators had told him that the tapes existed or details of the recorded conversations.

New legislation is to be passed in the next two and a half weeks allowing for a new style of parliamentary inquiry to investigate the banking crisis.

It will have the power to subpoena witnesses, demand documentation, compel former politicians to give evidence. It would not make findings of guilt against individuals but catalogue the evidence.

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