Sunday 18 March 2018

FitzPatrick seeks halt to trial in wake of Anglo case

Sean Fitzpatrick
Sean Fitzpatrick

Aodhan O'Faolain and Ray Managh

Former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Seán FitzPatrick has launched a High Court action aimed at preventing his trial before Dublin Circuit Criminal Court from going ahead.

Mr FitzPatrick is facing a number of charges including making a misleading, false or deceptive statement to auditors and of furnishing false information from 2002 to 2007.

The trial has been scheduled to begin on October 5.

Last week, Circuit Court Judge Martin Nolan ruled that the trial should proceed in October, after he had rejected an application for an adjournment made on behalf of the former banker.

Lawyers for Mr FitzPatrick (66), who has pleaded not guilty to 27 charges under the 1990 Companies Act, made the application due to concerns over the publicity surrounding a recent, separate trial of three Anglo officials.

Arising out of the refusal to put back his trial, lawyers acting for Mr FitzPatrick have now launched High Court judicial review proceedings against both the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and Judge Nolan.

The matter was mentioned before Mr Justice Bernard Barton at yesterday's vacation sitting of the High Court.

Barrister Bernard Condon SC, for Mr FitzPatrick, said that arising out of the decision to allow the trial to proceed, his client had brought proceedings seeking reliefs, including one quashing Judge Nolan's decision not to adjourn the trial.

He said Mr FitzPatrick, who was not present in court, was also seeking an injunction against the DPP, preventing the trial from going ahead.

The judge said he was not prepared to hear an application on behalf of Mr FitzPatrick for permission to bring his challenge in the absence of the other side. He directed that Mr FitzPatrick's application be heard in the presence of the DPP on August 21.

Declining Mr FitzPatrick's application to put back the trial last week, Judge Nolan pointed out that while there had been a huge amount of adverse publicity directed toward Mr FitzPatrick since 2008, he believed a jury could deal with the case impartially.

Irish Independent

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