Thursday 8 December 2016

FitzPatrick jury told trial will run until February

Published 24/11/2016 | 02:30

Mr FitzPatrick is facing 27 charges, all of which he denies, in relation to the alleged non-disclosure of loans he received from the bank.
Mr FitzPatrick is facing 27 charges, all of which he denies, in relation to the alleged non-disclosure of loans he received from the bank.

The jury in the trial of Sean FitzPatrick has been told the case has overrun "to a significant extent".

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Jurors were initially informed the trial of the former Anglo Irish Bank chairman on charges of misleading auditors would be completed by Christmas.

But significant delays have arisen due to legal argument and Judge John Aylmer said it now looked likely the case would run until the end of February.

Mr FitzPatrick is facing 27 charges, all of which he denies, in relation to the alleged non-disclosure of loans he received from the bank.

Although the jury was selected in late September, it has only heard an opening statement from the prosecution so far.

Evidence from witnesses has been delayed by legal argument.

At Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday, Judge Aylmer told jurors that ongoing legal argument over an issue was set to continue until Wednesday and he advised them that the trial would be longer than expected.

"The prediction is this case could go to the end of February," he said.

"I am told that when all of the legal argument is clear there would be six weeks of evidence to put before you."

He told jurors the case would break for Christmas on December 21 and would resume on January 11.

After considering the judge's comments the jury forewoman said all members were happy to serve until the end of February but there could be a difficulty after that as a juror had booked a holiday in March.

Judge Aylmer said everyone was grateful for their service.

Two legal issues have been the subject of argument in the absence of the jury so far.

Judge Aylmer said that there was going to be a third period of legal argument in the new year and this could take up to two weeks.

"It is very difficult to tell how long these legal arguments will take," he said.

"Nobody is to blame for that."

A specially-enlarged 15-person jury was originally sworn in the case, but two jurors have since had to be excused.

Irish Independent

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