Convictions quashed for two former Anglo bank executives
The Court of Appeal has quashed the convictions of two former Anglo Irish Bank executives jailed for furnishing false information to the Revenue Commissioners and conspiring to delete bank accounts.
Tiarnan O'Mahoney (56) and Bernard Daly (67) had both been sentenced to prison terms by Judge Patrick McCartan on July 31, 2015, following a trial at Dublin district Court.
But the Court of Appeal quashed the former executives' convictions yesterday on a number of grounds.
Mr Justice George Birmingham said they "should not have had to stand trial" on the charge of furnishing false information, because proceedings were not brought within 10 years.
Also, a decision to reformulate charges was made - because of this, the proceedings for which Mr Daly and Mr O'Mahoney stood trial were not commenced within the time limit. It was also contended that a number of documents were wrongly admitted in evidence.
Mr Justice Birmingham said the documents, which the trial judge ruled admissible, were "vital to the prosecution case".
These documents allowed a witness - fraud investigator Patrick Peake - to explain how Anglo accounts were opened, kept and ownership designated.
The jury was also shown how funds were sourced, moved between different accounts and how the names of different accounts were changed or redesignated at various times.
Read more: Profiles: Tiarnan O'Mahoney and Bernard Daly
Furthermore, the court held that conspiracy allegations against Mr Daly ought to have been withdrawn from the jury.
Seán Guerin SC, for Mr Daly, said the prosecution case against his client rested "almost entirely" on the bank's former head of compliance, Brian Gillespie. During the trial, Mr Gillespie described a conversation in which Mr Daly asked if he could delete a name from the list to be provided to authorities, and Mr Gillespie said 'no'.
Mr Justice Birmingham said there had to be strong suspicion that Mr Daly was involved in further impropriety, and this contention went further than was justified, the judge said.
Mr Justice Birmingham, who sat with Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan and Mr Justice John Edwards, said the conclusions reached meant the convictions "must be quashed".
The question of a retrial did not arise for Mr Daly because there was insufficient evidence to go before the jury, he said.
Mr O'Mahoney was released on bail until April 14 next, when the court will hear submissions on whether he should face a retrial. He was released on bail.
A statement by Mr Daly last night said he was "delighted with the success of the appeal".
It added: "He stresses that, since 2013, he has consistently maintained his innocence of the serious charges against him."
During the original trial, Mr O'Mahoney (56), of Glen Pines, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, and Mr Daly (67), of Collins Avenue, Dublin, had denied knowingly furnishing false information and conspiring to defraud the Revenue - as well as conspiring to have accounts deleted from the bank's internal system.
Judge Patrick McCartan had jailed Mr O'Mahoney for three years and Mr Daly for two years.