Sunday 25 August 2019

Drumm is 'preparing' for return to Ireland

But former Anglo chief won't come back without fighting extradition

Ex-Anglo chief David Drumm
Ex-Anglo chief David Drumm

Ronald Quinlan & Maeve Sheehan

The former boss of Anglo Irish Bank David Drumm wants to "negotiate" with the Irish authorities and is preparing himself for the prospect of being forcibly brought back to his native Dublin.

The banker, who is the sole breadwinner for his family, is understood to be concerned about the practicalities of his potential return, such as how to earn a living and providing a home here for his wife and two children.

A source with knowledge of the matter told the Sunday Independent: "David has drawn up a contingency plan in his head about what it would mean for him and his family if it comes to that."

The source insisted however that Drumm has not given up the fight against his extradition, saying that he remains determined to pursue his legal challenge despite the fact that only one in five such cases succeed.

"The odds may be against him, but David hasn't given up hope of winning," they said.

Regardless of the outcome, there is still a benefit for the former Anglo chief in resisting efforts by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to have him extradited from the US.

The Sunday Independent understands that even if Drumm's extradition challenge fails, his US lawyers' efforts on his behalf should reduce the number of charges for which he would face trial here. In challenging the banker's extradition, they will seek to have as many as possible of the 33 charges he is facing struck out on the basis that they are incompatible with US law. Under the terms of Ireland's extradition treaty with the US, the banker could only be tried in Ireland for alleged offences for which he could also be tried in a US court of law.

Separately, it is expected that Mr Drumm's legal team will seek to engage with Irish authorities in the coming weeks, with a view to establishing the parameters surrounding his return to Ireland in the event that his extradition challenge is unsuccessful.

David Drumm has been detained in custody in the US since his arrest on October 10 by the US Marshals Service on foot of an extradition warrant. He was being held in the Donald W Wyatt Detention Facility in Rhode Island but has recently been transferred to another prison. The warden of the Wyatt, Daniel Martin, confirmed the move last week. He said: "Detainee Drumm is no longer detained at this facility."

A spokesman for the US Marshals Service refused to say where Mr Drumm had been moved to, other than to confirm that he was still "in federal custody".

A US District Court judge, Donald Cabell, has reserved judgement on Mr Drumm's request for bail pending his extradition hearing on March 1.

In a further setback for Mr Drumm last week, a US District Court judge issued a ruling which makes the former banker personally liable for debts of around €10.4m. Judge Leo T Sorokin rejected Mr Drumm's appeal against an earlier court decision to deny his bankruptcy application in the US. The rejection of Mr Drumm's application for bankruptcy could be used against him in his upcoming extradition hearing. In his original ruling, Judge Frank Bailey said that the former banker was "not remotely credible" and said his conduct had been "both knowing and fraudulent".

That finding was cited in Mr Drumm's bail hearing a fortnight ago as one reason why he should be considered a flight risk. Assistant US Attorney Amy Harman Burkart said that based on his behaviour in the bankruptcy proceedings he could not be trusted.

Sunday Independent

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