Sunday 26 January 2020

Former Anglo chairman Sean FitzPatrick launches legal challenge to prevent Judge from presiding over his trial

Former Anglo director Sean FitzPatrick. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Former Anglo director Sean FitzPatrick. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Aodhan O'Faolain

FORMER Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick has launched a High Court challenge aimed at preventing Judge Patrick McCartan from presiding over his trial on charges of breaching the Companies Act.

Mr FitzPatrick (66) of Whitshed Road, Greystones, Co Wicklow is due to go on trial before Dublin Circuit Criminal Court at the end of May.

He has pleaded not guilty to 27 offences under the 1990 Companies Act.

These include 21 charges of making a misleading, false or deceptive statement to auditors and six charges of furnishing false information in the years 2002 to 2007.

In judicial review proceedings against the DPP, Mr FitzPatrick seeks various orders and declarations including one prohibiting Judge

McCartan, who presided over another trial involving alleged wrongdoings committed by others at Anglo Irish Bank, from presiding over the forthcoming trial.

Bernard Condon SC, for the retired banker, said Judge McCartan had declined to recuse himself from presiding over the criminal trial.

There was no need for Judge McCartan to hear the case, counsel said, adding the application was being brought to ensure his client receives a fair trial.

Lawyers for the DPP said they were taking a neutral position in regards to Mr FitzPatrick's application for leave.

The trial is expected to last up to three months before a jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

The matter came before Mr Justice Richard Humphreys today who granted Mr FitzPatrick's lawyers permission to bring the application. The matter was made returnable to next week.

The Judge also suggested to the parties they return before Judge McCartan  and mention the issue. He said this would allow Judge McCartan to discuss the issue with the Circuit Court President.

Mr FitzPatrick was not present in court for the application.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News