Tuesday 19 November 2019

Drumm claims bid to extradite him to Ireland has a 'political purpose'

Former Anglo Irish Bank chief David Drumm
Former Anglo Irish Bank chief David Drumm
David Drumm’s wife Lorraine, arrives at the federal courthouse in Boston for the hearing into the application for his extradition to Ireland. Photo by Chitose Suzuki

Orlaith Farrell in Boston

Former Anglo Irish Bank boss David Drumm is to make a bid for bail on Friday amid claims his extradition request to Ireland was for a "political purpose".

The 48-year-old, who appeared in a court in Boston yesterday, is wanted here on 33 charges in connection with the collapse of his former employer.

Mr Drumm, who was led into court by US marshals with his arms behind his back, spoke only once to greet Judge Donald Cabell.

His lawyer, Tracey Miner, told the judge her client would be seeking bail on Friday and put it to the court that detention wasn't a "fait accompli".

The brief hearing was held to establish a timeline for how the extradition process should proceed. Ms Miner said it could take up to three to four months to prepare for.

She told the court that it would take longer to prepare for this extradition case than a normal request because it was a "little bit more complicated" and may have involve a "political purpose".

Following three nights in a jail cell, Mr Drumm was unshaven and dressed in a creased blue shirt and navy jeans. His wife Lorraine sat a few rows behind him, keeping her eyes on the ground during the majority of the proceedings and refused to answer questions as she left the court building.

Mr Drumm - who was arrested last Saturday - was detained in custody until his bail hearing on Friday.

Judge Cabell told the defence that in the case of extradition, there was a presumption of detention unless there were special circumstances.

"We're being asked to honour a request of the Irish Government," he said.

Assistant US Attorney Amy Burkart told the court that the prosecution would be seeking Mr Drumm's detention pending the hearing and mentioned for the record that the Irish Consulate had been notified following his arrest.

The judge set November 10 as the date for a status conference in the case and told Mr Drumm's team to be prepared to identify what the reasons might be for rejecting the extradition request from Ireland.

The extradition hearing would examine issues including the validity of the treaty between Ireland and the US, whether the crimes charged are covered by the relevant treaties and probable cause.

Outside the courthouse, Ms Miner said: "We're going to see if we can get him released.

"It was outrageous that he was picked up on a Saturday of a three-day weekend, and we have defences."

Mr Drumm came before the judge in the same courthouse where infamous Boston gangster James 'Whitey' Bulger stood trial. The John Joseph Moakley Courthouse was also where Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was tried and convicted.

The Irish authorities are seeking his extradition to face charges relating to his time at Anglo Irish Bank.

The 48-year-old is facing 33 criminal charges for his alleged role in various matters at the collapsed financial institution.

These include counts of false reporting, giving unlawful financial assistance, forgery, being privy to the falsification of documents, conspiracy to defraud and false accounting.

All of the offences are alleged to have occurred in 2008, the same year he quit his role as Anglo chief executive.

Irish Independent

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