Tuesday 20 August 2019

Drumm's mother urges judge to show compassion

Family makes plea for release of banker on bail

David Drumm, whose mother’s letter, was among several sent to the US judge ahead of a bail hearing, pleading for compassion
David Drumm, whose mother’s letter, was among several sent to the US judge ahead of a bail hearing, pleading for compassion
Letter from Mary Drumm, mother of David Drumm, to US extradition judge Donald Cabell
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

The elderly mother of David Drumm has pleaded with a US judge to show compassion for her son, ahead of a hearing to decide whether or not he will be granted bail.

Her plea was contained in one of a series of impassioned letters submitted to a Boston court by members of the former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive's family.

Judge Donald Cabell also received pleas for Mr Drumm's release from his wife and sister.

"Your compassion in David's case will be in my prayers forever," wrote Mr Drumm's 80-year-old mother, Mary.

In a handwritten note, she said her son had been "my rock all his working life in all my good and bad days".

"All I ask as his mother is to give him bail so he can sort out what he has to deal with down the line," she wrote.

Judge Cabell is tomorrow due to consider whether Mr Drumm should be released from custody pending the outcome of proceedings to extradite him to Ireland. The banker is facing 33 charges, including charges of fraud and false accounting, in connection with the running of Anglo before its collapse in 2008.

In a submission ahead of tomorrow's hearing, lawyers for Mr Drumm argued he was not a flight risk and said there were six "special circumstances" which mean he should be released. They also said he had agreed to being electronically tagged and confining himself to his home should he be set free.

Three friends of Mr Drumm have also offered to put forward their family homes - ranging in value from $600,000 to $2.8m - as collateral to guarantee his release. This was pledged in addition to the $2m home Mr Drumm shares with his wife Lorraine and their two daughters in the Boston suburb of Wellesley.

Drumm was taken into custody by US Marshals a month ago, and since then has been held in four different facilities.

In a letter to Judge Cabell, Lorraine Drumm said her husband was "a wonderful father, and a good, honest man".

"He is devastated to be away from us and to be causing us so much worry and pain," she wrote. "We are heartbroken without him at home. We are also in shock that David could be held in custody."

Lorraine Drumm said her husband, who is now working as chief investment officer for an office asset management firm in New York, was the sole income provider for the family.

"Through his salary, we pay the mortgage, utilities, school tuition, food and clothing. I honestly don't know what we will do if David is unable to work to support us."

She added: "With the utmost sincerity, faith and belief I wish to assure you that David is not a flight risk whatsoever and his dedication to his family is absolute."

One of Mr Drumm's sisters, whose name was redacted from documents released by the court, said at one point her brother would phone her every night from Boston without fail.

"He is a man of integrity and is extremely dedicated to his family and work," she wrote.

In the court filings, lawyers for Mr Drumm argued he and his family were long-time residents in Massachusetts, with deep ties to the community. They said Mr Drumm was not a danger to the community.

He and his family have been members of a local church for six years, regularly attending services. They said Mr Drumm was involved in community activities, such as coaching both of his daughters' soccer teams in the Boston satellite town of Sudbury.

Two priests also sent letters to the court saying they were confident he would appear in court as directed.

In the filings, Mr Drumm's lawyers questioned the timing of the extradition application. They said the timing "coming as it has during the run-up to the pending Irish elections is, well, curious at best". The lawyers added: "This alone creates special circumstances that justify Mr Drumm's secure release on bail pending resolution of the Irish extradition request."

The documents reveal that when Mr Drumm was arrested on October 10, his wife and one of his daughters were present. Mr Drumm moved with his family to the US in 2009, the year after he stepped down as chief executive of Anglo. He had refused to comply with requests for him to return home for questioning about issues at the failed bank.

Lawyers make six arguments for Drumm's release

To be released on bail, David Drumm will have to demonstrate there are "special circumstances" in his case.

He will have to convince a judge that there are compelling reasons why he should not remain in custody while his extradition case is being dealt with. Here are the six "special circumstances" arguments put forward by his legal team:

Ireland's Constitution

Unlike in the US, Ireland has a constitutional presumption favouring bail, and regularly grants bail for the offences with which Mr Drumm has been charged.

Delay in pressing charges

Mr Drumm's alleged offences occurred in 2008 and would be barred by the statute of limitations under US law.

Complicated proceedings

The extradition process could take years as it involves "extraordinarily complex financial matters" and tens of millions of pages of documents.

Drumm's dependants

Mr Drumm is the sole source of income for his wife and two daughters and he should be allowed provide for them during the lengthy proceedings ahead.

The "BOP Situation"

It is unclear what this relates to, as this argument has not been made public. However, it may relate to the level of access Mr Drumm is allowed to his lawyers.

Ability to defend himself

Mr Drumm would not be able to adequately prepare his defence if he was to be incarcerated without bail for several years.

Irish Independent

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