Saturday 24 March 2018

Disgraced ex-CEO still faces threat of extradition over role

David Drumm, the former chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank. Photo: Chitose Suzuki
David Drumm, the former chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank. Photo: Chitose Suzuki

Tom Brady and Dearbhail McDonald

A decision is expected shortly on whether disgraced Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm should face criminal charges here.

Dubbed the author of the July 2008 lending scheme by trial Judge Martin Nolan, Mr Drumm was the ghostly presence of the Anglo trial.

The jury was repeatedly told that Mr Drumm, who succeeded Sean FitzPatrick as CEO of Anglo, was not before the courts. But it was impossible to ignore his shadow – as not a day went by when his name was not mentioned in proceedings.

Officers from the garda national fraud bureau sent a detailed file on their investigation into Mr Drumm's role in the Anglo affair to the DPP towards the end of 2011.

But gardai have been powerless to take action against Mr Drumm, who lives in the US.

Mr Drumm stepped down as chief executive of Anglo in December 2008 and filed for bankruptcy in the US in October 2010. He had ignored repeated requests from gardai to co-operate with their inquiries.

But gardai will seek his extradition if the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) gives the go-ahead.

The DPP study of the Drumm file is now in its final stages. It was completed after lengthy inquiries by officers from the fraud bureau and officials from the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE).

Authorities here cannot seek his extradition from another jurisdiction to face questioning about a suspected crime.

Gardai can only be handed an extradition warrant by the courts if they can guarantee that the suspect will be charged with an offence on their return.

Officers had hoped in 2010 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 return.

Senior gardai decided in the autumn of 2011, in consultation with lawyers from the office of DPP, to complete the file without Mr Drumm's input.

Lack of a response from Mr Drumm does not definitively rule out a prosecution, if the evidence is there to warrant it.

The DPP's office has in the past indicated that a person should be given an opportunity to respond to any allegations being made – and those responses are then included in a garda file for consideration before a decision on prosecution can be taken.

However, in this case it has been decided that gardai have taken all reasonable steps to contact Mr Drumm.

Last July, Mr Drumm gave an interview in the US in which he criticised the disclosure of the contents of the Anglo Irish tapes by the Irish Independent and 'Sunday Independent'.

The remarks prompted calls by three government ministers to Mr Drumm to fly home to be interviewed.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter said: "I do believe he should co-operate with An Garda Siochana, as he has been requested to do, and make himself available to answer any questions that remain to be answered in the context of the investigation that is taking place."

Irish Independent

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