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Friday 19 September 2014

Lawyer: 'McAteer faced unique circumstances'

Published 30/04/2014 | 02:30

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William McAteer
Pat Whelan leaving Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

ANGLO IRISH BANK'S former finance director William McAteer (63) was described by his lawyer Patrick Gageby SC as "a gentleman facing unique circumstances" after 45 years of service.

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Mr Gageby said the case involving Mr McAteer was "quite unique", one that was very far removed from malign motives or bad faith.

He said the case was one that apparently requires no malicious motive, adding that this was not a case where it could be said that what was done was done from a base motive.

The authorities, including the Office of the Financial Regulator, sincerely desired the transaction to happen, he said, adding that Anglo's compliance department raised no red flags. Mr Gageby also highlighted the failure of solicitor Robert Heron, who advised Anglo in 2008, to recall the details of a key legal call between Mr Heron, Anglo executives and senior representatives from Morgan Stanley, two days before the Maple transaction. Mr Heron gave evidence that he did not provide any "positive" legal advice about the Maple 10 transaction and said he only found out about lending to the Maple 10 – and the generous 25pc recourse on their €45m loans – in the aftermath of the deal.

But Mr Gageby said that it was "demonstrably clear" that there was mention of lending to high net worth individuals during that call and said there was demonstrable evidence that there was legal advice.

Irish Independent

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