Tuesday 23 January 2018

David Drumm remains in 'cruel conditions' as bail bid is adjourned

David Drumm. Photo: Bizuayehu Tesfaye
David Drumm. Photo: Bizuayehu Tesfaye

Orlaith Farrell

Lawyers for David Drumm have asked a Boston judge to release the fugitive banker from his "cruel and intolerable" conditions while he fights his extradition to Ireland.

Appealing a judge's decision last month to refuse him bail pending his extradition hearing, Mr Drumm's legal team outlined a number of reasons why he should be allowed to return to his family home.

The 49-year-old has been behind bars in the US for just under three months, since his arrest at his home in a Boston suburb on October 10.

His lawyer Edward McNally told District Court Judge Richard Stearns that a "complex white collar extradition hearing" can take many years.

Mr Drumm is being charged with crimes allegedly committed in 2008 but wasn't charged until 2015, he said.

"Even in the light most favourable to Irish state, it means Irish authorities sat on their hands for at least five years," he said, adding that there was no "reasonable explanation" for the delay. "Ireland itself has not placed a high premium on its case, or the return of Mr Drumm," he added.

Mr Drumm relies heavily on third parties for financial support, particularly his employer who is paying his legal fees and there was no reason for the court to believe that the former banker had substantial assets, the court heard.

Courtroom 22 in the John Moakley Courthouse was filled with supporters, including his wife Lorraine, her family from Dublin, their two daughters and dozens of friends.

Mr McNally said a series of events during Mr Drumm's incarceration had made him question whether it was designed to make it "so harsh, so indifferent, so cruel and intolerable" that Mr Drumm might waive his due process and return to Ireland.

Those included the release of his prison ID number and the refusal of prison authorities to let Mr Drumm's elderly mother visit on Christmas Eve.

Judge Stearns referenced Wall Street fraudster Bernie Madoff during the 90-minute hearing, raising the fact with the US Assistant United States Attorney that Madoff had been allowed out on "restrictive terms of release" to work on his defense. Adjourning the application, he said he would need at least the weekend to consider the request.

Irish Independent

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