Monday 23 October 2017

Banking inquiry advised not to hear video evidence from ex-Anglo boss David Drumm

Row which threatened inquiry is defused

David Drumm
David Drumm
John Downing

John Downing

The row which threatened to collapse the Oireachtas bank inquiry has been defused.

The investigation members have been advised by their own lawyers, and by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), not to go ahead with a video-linked hearing from the USA involving former Anglo Irish Bank boss David Drumm.

Mr Drumm has been in the USA since after the bank collapsed in autumn 2008 and the Irish authorities want to extradite him from there to face trial in Dublin.

But Mr Drumm had filed a witness statement, and offered evidence by video-link to the committee which was likely to go ahead on Wednesday.

The video hearing split the 11 member committee with two members threatening to walk from the process if it went ahead.

Both Micheal McGrath of Fianna Fail and Eoghan Murphy of Fine Gael said the video hearing was completely wrong. They insisted Mr Drumm should appear in person and also cooperate with the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Today well-placed sources at Leinster House confirmed that the video hearings would not go ahead. It is understood that the committee's own lawyers advised against it and the DPP also warned of the risk to ongoing investigations and court cases.

The committee will now consider their next move on the evidence statement already filed by Mr Drumm.

Some members have already said former Taoiseach Brian Cowen should be re-called because the Anglo boss's evidence raises questions about Mr Cowen's testimony.

One committee source said this matter will be discussed at a meeting tomorrow but a decision may be left over until early September.

The committee of seven TDs and four senators has since last December been examining the causes of the autumn 2008 bank collapse which cost Irish taxpayers €64bn.

Irish Independent

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