Friday 28 July 2017

FitzPatrick's arrest paves way for DPP decision on charges

A group of anti-banker protesters outside
the garda station in Bray
A group of anti-banker protesters outside the garda station in Bray
Sean FitzPatrick leaves Bray garda station after he was arrested previously
his lawyer, Michael Staines, pictured yesterday

Tom Brady and Louise Hogan

THE arrest of former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick yesterday has paved the way for the DPP to finally determine whether charges should be brought.

It was the second time that he had been detained for questioning as part of the joint investigation by the Garda National Fraud Bureau and the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) into alleged financial irregularities at the bank.

Mr FitzPatrick's questioning on a range of issues yesterday was regarded as the final piece in the jigsaw in completing the file on any alleged role he might have played in the irregularities.

He was arrested by appointment at Bray garda station yesterday and detained under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, which allowed gardai to hold him without charge for up to 24 hours.

Mr FitzPatrick was questioned throughout the day and late into the night by fraud bureau detectives and ODCE officers. After his release the file in relation to his alleged activities will be completed for the DPP and a decision on charges will be taken in the coming weeks.

ODCE interviewers focused on possible breaches of the Companies Act, relating to the suspected failure of Anglo to maintain a register of loans and other transactions between the bank and its directors and associated persons, and the provision of a loan to an Anglo director in circumstances which might be contrary to common law and certain provisions of the Companies Act.

It has already sent a file to the DPP in connection with loans provided by the bank to Mr FitzPatrick and other directors and made a further submission on its investigation into Anglo's loans to 10 of its customers -- the so-called 'Maple Ten' -- to allow them to buy shares in the bank in July 2008.

Prosecution

Gardai have submitted a substantive file on their inquiries on the 'back-to-back' deposit undertaken between Anglo and Irish Life and Permanent for the benefit of Anglo at the end of its financial year in 2008.

This allowed money to be moved back and forth between the two institutions, thereby making Anglo's balance sheet appear healthier.

While he was in Bray station Mr FitzPatrick was visited by his solicitor, Michael Staines, for about two hours while a small group staged a protest during the day, outlining their feelings about the actions of bankers.

The bank's former finance director, Willie McAteer, has also been detained twice for questioning by detectives.

But gardai are completing their inquiries into the bank's former chief executive David Drumm without interviewing him.

Mr Drumm, who is living in the United States, has ignored repeated requests by the gardai to co-operate with their inquiries.

Irish Independent

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