Anglo trial gets underway
JURORS in the trial of three former Anglo executives have been told that they are the first jury in the history of the State to serve under new laws to deal with lengthy trials.
Opening the case for the prosecution, the 15 jurors sworn to hear the case have been told by Senior Counsel Paul O'Higgins, for the DPP, that the verdicts will ultimately be decided by 12 of them.
Mr O'Higgins said that at the end of the trial, 12 jurors will decide the verdicts following a secret ballot to select 12 jurors from the 15 string panel.
"For now, you are the 15 judges of every fact of this case" said Mr O'Higgins who is outlining the criminal trial process.
The trial is now underway at the Circuit Criminal Court in Dublin.
Sean FitzPatrick (65) of Whitshed Road, Wicklow, William McAteer (63) of Auburn Villas Rathgar, Dublin and Pat Whelan (51) of Coast Road, Malahide, Dublin, have each pleaded not guilty to 16 charges of unlawfully providing financial assistance to individuals for the purpose of buying shares in Anglo Irish Bank in 2008.
Each of the 16 charges the men face relates to a specific individual who, it is alleged, received financial assistance on dates between July 10th and 17th, 2008 and, in the case of one of the borrowers, between July 10th and July 30th, 2008.
Mr Whelan is facing an additional seven charges of being privy to fraudulently altered loan facility letters sent to seven of the borrowers relating to the purchase of shares in Anglo.
These alleged offences occurred in October 2008.
All three men have pleaded not (NOT) guilty to the charges against them.
Fifteen jurors, seven men and eight women, have been sworn in to hear the trial which could last until the end of May.
More than 100 potential witnesses may be called to testify for the prosecution during the trial.
These include businessman Sean Quinn Snr, his wife Patricia Quinn, their five adult children and Pat Neary, the former financial regulator.
Potential witnesses also include gardai, property investors, developers, borrowers mentioned in the specific charges as well as ex Anglo employees and bankers living outside of the jurisdiction.
The 16 people named in the charges as having received financial assistance are Patricia Quinn; Sean Quinn Junior; Collete Marie Quinn; Aoife Quinn; Brenda Quinn; Ciara Quinn; Paddy McKillen; Séamus Ross; Brian O’Farrell; John McCabe; Gerard Maguire; Patrick Kearney; Gerard Conlon; Gerard Gannon; Seán Reilly and Joseph O’Reilly.
The charges relating to Patricia Quinn are alleged to have occurred between July 10th and July 30th, 2008.