Saturday 22 October 2016

Drumm seeks more time on case due to jail's 'extreme constraints'

Published 26/02/2016 | 02:30

David Drumm. Photo: Bizuayehu Tesfaye
David Drumm. Photo: Bizuayehu Tesfaye

Former Anglo Irish Bank boss David Drumm has sought extra time to prepare a bankruptcy appeal because he was unable to work on the case while in solitary confinement over fears for his safety.

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A lawyer for Mr Drumm said that due to the "extreme constraints" he was subjected to in prison, he had "been severely limited in his abilities to review the record and prepare the brief".

However, the bid to be allowed an additional eight weeks is to be contested by Mr Drumm's bankruptcy trustee Kathleen Dwyer and his main creditor, the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation.

Ms Dwyer yesterday voiced concerns Mr Drumm may attempt to prolong the case by seeking further extensions.

Earlier this week, Mr Drumm said he intended to dismiss his legal team and act for himself.

The row comes as Mr Drumm, who has debts of around €11m, is seeking to overturn the decision of a bankruptcy judge to deny him protection from creditors.

He is currently being held at a maximum security prison awaiting extradition to Ireland and it is not yet known whether the bankruptcy dispute will delay his return.

Mr Drumm is set to face 33 criminal charges relating to his time at the helm of Anglo when he finally arrives back in Ireland.

In a filing to a US court, lawyer Edward McNally said Mr Drumm had to endure "a lengthy period of administrative segregation" after his arrest by US Marshals last October.

Administrative segregation is used by correctional facilities in Massachusetts when prison authorities need time to determine a safe place to put an inmate.

It generally involves the prisoner being kept in a solitary confinement unit for up to 23 hours a day.

Mr McNally made the disclosure in an affidavit filed with the US Court of Appeals.

The former Anglo chief executive is being held at the maximum security Plymouth County Correctional Facility south of Boston.

Mr McNally argued that Mr Drumm should be allowed an eight-week extension to a March 1 deadline to file papers in his bankruptcy appeal.

But in a legal filing, a lawyer for Ms Dwyer said that although an extension may be appropriate, both she and the IBRC "are concerned that Drumm may use multiple extension requests to further draw out the appeal".

Ms Dwyer said it was in the best interest of creditors for the case to be finalised.

"The longer this appeal continues, the more fees and costs are incurred by the estate and the more creditors must wait for their final distributions," the lawyer acting for Ms Dwyer said.

So far, creditors are in line to receive just 15pc of what they are owed. The IBRC has been offered just €1.6m of the €10.6m it is pursuing.

Irish Independent

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