Sunday 23 July 2017

Objections to bail as David Drumm appears in court on 33 charges related to his role at Anglo

Shane Phelan and Andrew Phelan

FORMER Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm has appeared in court charged with 33 offences, including fraud, conspiracy to defraud and false accounting.

The 49-year-old appeared before Judge Michael Walsh at a packed sitting of Dublin District Court.

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

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

Judge Walsh is set to consider the issue in the afternoon.

He was dressed in a navy suit, blue shirt and navy tie.

After the judge greeted him and invited him to take a seat, Drumm replied: "Good morning, thank you"

He sat alone on a bench to the side of the court, a few feet away from his solicitor Michael Staines.

As the court rose he blew a kiss, waved and smiled to some supporters sitting in the public gallery.

Judge Walsh heard evidence from two gardai in relation to the arrest of Drumm and the charges against him.

Mr Drumm, with an address in Wellesley, near Boston, and formerly of Malahide, Co Dublin, was the tenth person called this morning on a busy sitting of the court.

Det Sgt Michael McKenna told the court he arrested Mr Drumm at 5.30am this morning at Dublin Airport.

He said Drumm was conveyed to Ballymun Garda Station. Det Sgt McKenna said he put two charges to Mr Drumm and gave him copies of the charges at 6.35am

He said Mr Drumm made no comment to either of the charges.

Det Sgt Michael Prendergast, an officer seconded to the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement from the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation, gave evidence of 31 further charges he put to Drumm at the garda station at 6.39am.

He said Mr Drumm made no reply to any of the charges.

Detectives had travelled to the US late last week to collect Mr Drumm (49) after formalities surrounding his extradition were completed.

Mr Drumm resigned in December 2008 as Anglo Irish Bank was collapsing.

In 2009, the year Anglo Irish Bank was nationalised, he moved to Boston.

State solicitor Deirdre Manninger told Judge Walsh the Director of Public Prosecutions had directed there be a trial on indictment and that two books of evidence could be submitted to the court.

The documents were contained in two large boxes.

Det Sgt Walsh 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 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 facings 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 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 Drumm had debts of over €8.5m, he had the capacity to leave the jurisdiction.

Det Sgt McKenna also told the court he wished to counter any suggestion that 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 Drumm had strong ties with the US, which he “relied upon repeatedly and at length”.

Mr Kelly continued that 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”.

He continued: “It is the director’s position that he could not be relied upon to show up for his trial”.

Drumm’s solicitor, Michael Staines, said his client would be seeking bail.

Mr Staines questioned the relevance of evidence given in extradition proceedings in the US.

“My submission is that this is a bail application in an Irish court and what happens in an American court is irrelevant.”

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