Wednesday 18 September 2019

Drumm is set to spend Christmas in detention

Unsure of bail: David Drumm
Unsure of bail: David Drumm
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

David Drumm is likely to spend Christmas behind bars after a court decided to hear his extradition case in the New Year.

A Boston judge has set March 1, 2016, as the date for a hearing on the application by Irish authorities to extradite him from the US to face 33 charges, including charges of fraud and false accounting.

Mr Drumm’s legal team was informed of the date in a note issued by the United States District Court yesterday.

A decision has yet to be made by Judge Donald Cabell on whether Mr Drumm will be allowed out on bail pending the outcome of the extradition hearing.

However, legal experts say it appears highly unlikely he will be released.

The former banker’s bid for release has not been helped by the failure of his appeal against the refusal of a bankruptcy judge to discharge him as a bankrupt. The appeals judge questioned Mr Drumm’s honesty in a ruling on Monday. Judge Leo Sorokin found bankruptcy judge Frank Bailey made no mistake in denying Mr Drumm protection from his creditors, who are owed around €11m.

He cited Mr Drumm’s “misdirection and dishonesty” after he failed to disclose the transfer of a €250,000 mortgage on a property in Skerries, Co Dublin, to his wife in December 2008.

It means Mr Drumm is now personally liable for all of his debts. His main creditor, IBRC, the former Anglo Irish Bank, has been pursuing him for debts of €10.4m – much of it arising from borrowings to buy shares in the defunct lender.

US attorney Amy Burkhart claimed Mr Drumm was a “clear flight risk” and, if released on bail, could flee to a country that has no extradition treaty with Ireland. This has been denied by Mr Drumm, who insists he will not flee.

His legal team submitted letters to Judge Cabell from family members, including his elderly mother, in support of his release. Three friends have also pledged to put their homes up as collateral for any bail bond which may be issued.

Judge Cabell is expected to issue a written ruling on the bail issue shortly.

But it is thought unlikely Mr Drumm will be released, as there is no presumption of bail in extradition cases in the US and special circumstances need to arise for it to be granted.

Mr Drumm has been in custody since October 10, when US marshals picked him up at his home in Wellesley, an upmarket suburb of Boston.

It is understood his 49th birthday, which he celebrated last month, was spent at a detention facility in Rhode Island.

He had been living in Massachusetts since 2009, the year after he quit at the helm of Anglo as it slid towards nationalisation.

Irish Independent

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