Emigration a big sacrifice, says Drumm as he awaits bail decision
Former Anglo Irish Bank boss David Drumm told a US judge that he "did not flee Ireland" as he made an emotional plea to be released on bail while awaiting his extradition hearing.
Mr Drumm, who has spent 33 nights in jail, took to the stand in Boston during his bail hearing, to ask Judge Donald Cabell to release him under strict conditions.
"I did not flee Ireland" he said. "I strongly reject the notion that I fled Ireland."
Mr Drumm said he had received phenomenal support from friends and his extended family in Ireland and spoke of how hard the past seven years had been.
"Its a big sacrifice to be an emigrant," he said.
He was arrested last month on foot of a request for his extradition to Ireland to face 33 charges, including fraud and false accounting.
Yesterday, shackled at the ankles and dressed in a grey top, green cargo pants and white trainers, Mr Drumm shuffled from his seat, clutching his notes.
He said the decision to move to Boston in 2008 after he resigned from Anglo was "instinctive" because they spent five "wonderful years" in the city from 1998, setting up a US arm for Anglo.
He told the judge that it was "perhaps maybe the happiest time in our lives".
When the family did relocate to the wealthy suburb of Wellesley, "I was free to come and go", and he returned to Ireland twice in 2009 to discuss his outstanding loans with his former employer.
Both his daughters and wife Lorraine, who were sitting behind Mr Drumm, became tearful at various points during his testimony.
Mr Drumm said he learned that extradition proceedings had been issued against him in January but he didn't run then - and had no intention of running now.
He pledged that he would not be a flight risk.
"I would be abandoning my wife of 24 years, abandoning my children, derailing their education. The damage to me personally would be something I could not take."
But Assistant United States Attorney Amy Burkart told the court that Mr Drumm "cannot be trusted".
A judge had deemed Mr Drumm to be "not remotely credible" and "knowingly fradulent" following his failed bankruptcy bid.
Mr Drumm has eight lawyers in Boston, New York and Ireland - and his daughter attends one of the most expensive schools in the country, where tuition is $44,000 a year, the court heard.
One of Mr Drumm's large legal team, Edward McNally, cited reasons that Mr Drumm should be allowed bail, including the delay from the Irish Government in bringing charges, the most recent evidence "seven years old".
Judge Cabell will make a decision at a later date. He told the court he was keen to set a firm date for the extradition hearing and asked both sides to consider a date in February.