Monday 26 September 2016

A visibly relieved David Drumm granted bail subject to strict conditions including own bond of €50k

Shane Phelan Public Affairs Editor

Published 14/03/2016 | 14:58

FORMER Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm has been granted bail subject to strict conditions, including his own bond of €50,000.

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However, he will be held in Cloverhill Prison until bail issues are resolved tomorrow.

David Drumm arriving from Boston on Aerlingus flight EI136 which landed in Dublin at 5.16am.
Photo:Mark Condren
David Drumm arriving from Boston on Aerlingus flight EI136 which landed in Dublin at 5.16am. Photo:Mark Condren
David Drumm. Photo: Bizuayehu Tesfaye

The decision to award bail was taken by Judge Michael Walsh despite strenuous objections from the State.

Mr Drumm, who will live at an address in Skerries, Co Dublin, will have to sign on twice daily at Balbriggan Garda Station.

He will also have to surrender his passport.

The former banker will have to provide a personal surety of €50,000, which must be lodged to the court.

An independent surety of €100,000 must also be offered, half of which must be in cash with the remainder kept in a bank account and frozen until the case is completed.

Mr Drumm is to be remanded in custody tonight. Judge Walsh said the bail issue could be “tidied up” tomorrow.

A visibly relieved Mr Drumm took the stand to tell the judge of the address he intended to live at.

He also said his passport was in the possession of gardai.

In making his decision, Judge Walsh said that while it was clear Mr Drumm had refused to return home for questioning by gardai, he was mindful of the constitutional presumption of innocence until proven guilty and the constitutional presumption of bail.

He said he needed to be mindful of the complexity of the case, which will involve a voluminous amount of paperwork and consultation with lawyers.

Judge Walsh noted Mr Drumm had no previous convictions.

He also said he understood there was no possibility of a trial until 2017.

Earlier, the court was told Drumm was charged at Ballymun Garda Station this morning with 33 offences, including fraud, conspiracy to defraud and false accounting.

The State opposed the application for bail, citing the seriousness of the offences and their belief Drumm may be a flight risk.

Dressed in a navy suit, blue shirt and navy tie, Mr Drumm sat alone on a bench to the side of the court, a few feet away from his solicitor Michael Staines.

Det Sgt Michael McKenna said he wished to apply to have Mr Drumm remanded in custody.

He said he believed Mr Drumm was “a serious risk of flight for a number of reasons”.

The detective sergeant said there were a number of grounds for the application.

The first was the seriousness of the charges.

He said the charges he had put to Mr Drumm involved conspiracy to defraud and false accounting.

“Both of these offences relate to alleged fraudulent transfers between Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Life & Permanent amounting to €7.2bn,” he said.

The second ground was “the nature and strength of the evidence to support the charges”, Det Sgt McKenna said.

He said there were a large group of witnesses - between 110 and 120 in relation to the two charges he had put to Drumm. The case was also built on a large quantity of emails, audio recordings, minutes of up to 15 company meetings, and other correspondence.

The third ground was the likely sentence which could follow from a guilty conviction.

Det Sgt McKenna said said some of the offences facing Mr Drumm had a maximum term of ten years.

He said the fourth ground for opposing bail was “the conduct of the accused between 2009 and 2016, in particular his dealings with An Garda Siochana and the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement”.

Det Sgt McKenna said it was his evidence that Mr Drumm’s ties to this jurisdiction were “tenuous”.

He said Drumm had gone into “voluntary exile” and that his immediate family remained in the US.

The detective sergeant said that despite the fact Mr Drumm had debts of over €8.5m, he seemed to be able to marshal large sums of money when required.

Det Sgt McKenna also told the court he wished to counter any suggestion that Mr Drumm’s extradition was timed to coincide with the General Election or that it had been delayed in any way in recent weeks.

He said that the US State Department had only signed off on the extradition order on March 10. He and his colleagues had travelled to the US the following day.

Barrister for the State, Dean Kelly BL, said it had emerged in extradition proceedings that Mr Drumm had strong ties with the US, which he “relied upon repeatedly and at length”.

Mr Kelly continued that Mr Drumm had said he “would fight tooth and claw” against his extradition.

“His position only changes at the point at which the bail door closed for him,” said Mr Kelly.

“I say Mr Drumm is a flight risk because one thing and one thing alone brought him back.”

Mr Kelly said the court could “draw an inference as to whether at any stage or now it is Mr Drumm’s intention to face trial in this country”.

However, Mr Drumm’s lawyer Michael Staines said his client was not a flight risk.

“He wants to stay here and deal with this case and then restart his life,” he said.

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