Gardai give up on their bid to quiz Drumm
Investigators will now send file on Anglo Irish to the DPP
Published 07/09/2011 | 05:00
GARDAI have abandoned attempts to interview former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm.
Mr Drumm, currently living in Boston in the US, has ignored repeated requests by the garda national fraud bureau to co-operate with their inquiries into the suspected offences.
The lack of a response from Mr Drumm does not definitively rule out a prosecution, if the evidence is there to warrant it. But it could create additional difficulties in bringing criminal charges.
Investigators will now send a comprehensive file on financial irregularities at the bank to the Director of Public Prosecutions within a month.
Numerous attempts have been made by the gardai through contact with Mr Drumm's lawyers to set up a meeting, either in this country or in another location, but they have been unable to arrange an interview.
Mr Drumm cannot be extradited back to Ireland from the US for questioning about an alleged crime.
Last year gardai had been hoping that Mr Drumm would make himself available voluntarily for interview here as he was expected to return to Dublin for civil proceedings in the courts. But he did not come home.
An extradition warrant can only be issued if a criminal charge has been brought against a suspect and the courts are satisfied that the evidence is sufficient to justify a prosecution.
Within the past few days, senior garda officers have decided, in consultation with the DPP's office, to complete the file, without Mr Drumm's input, and allow the DPP to determine whether criminal charges should arise from the garda investigation.
A number of key, high-profile players are expected to be re-interviewed by detectives and fresh evidence put to them before the file is submitted.
These could include the former Anglo chairman, Sean FitzPatrick and the bank's ex-financial director, Willie McAteer, who were arrested previously for questioning.
The garda inquiries are part of a joint investigation with the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE).
After the garda file has been submitted, fraud bureau detectives will then focus fully on co-operating with the ODCE in completing their file.
The DPP will consider both files in tandem before deciding whether there should be a prosecution. Key areas under investigation include:
> A "back to back" deposit arrangement between Anglo and Irish Life & 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, boosting the appearance of Anglo's financial health.
> Financial aid from Anglo in 2008 to a group of investors, known as the 'Maple Ten', to purchase shares in circumstances which might be contrary to the Companies Acts.
> The provision of loans by Anglo to its former directors and the regular "warehousing" of some of the loans in the Irish Nationwide Building Society at the end of Anglo's financial year.
> The provision of a loan to an Anglo director in circumstances which might be contrary to common law and certain provisions of the Companies Acts.
Last week Anglo asked a US court not to allow Mr Drumm walk away from bankruptcy and claimed that he had lied repeatedly under oath during his bankruptcy case.