Tuesday 21 August 2018

Jury in David Drumm trial begin deliberations

Former CEO of Anglo Irish Bank, David Drumm. Photo: Collins Courts
Former CEO of Anglo Irish Bank, David Drumm. Photo: Collins Courts

Andrew Phelan

THE jury in the fraud conspiracy trial of former Anglo Irish Bank CEO David Drumm has been sent home for the night after an hour and a quarter of deliberations.

The three women and nine men, who retired to begin considering verdicts earlier, were told to return to resume their deliberations tomorrow afternoon.

An enlarged jury had sat throughout the 81-day trial due to its length, with two “spares” in case of drop-outs. However, only 12 can consider a verdict and they were selected randomly by ballot, with two sent home.

Judge Karen O’Connor thanked the two departing jurors for the time and commitment they had given to the trial and said she was sorry they had to be excluded at this stage.

At 2.34pm, she asked the remaining jurors - three women and nine men - to retire to begin considering verdicts on the two charges before them - conspiracy to defraud and false accounting.

Their verdicts must be unanimous, she told them.

Mr Drumm (51) is pleading not guilty to conspiring to defraud by dishonestly creating the impression that Anglo's customer deposits were €7.2bn larger than they really were in September 2008.

He is alleged to have conspired with Anglo’s former Finance Director Willie McAteer and head of Capital Markets John Bowe, as well as Irish Life and Permanent’s then-CEO, Denis Casey, and others.

The Dublin Circuit Criminal Court case centres on a series of interbank deposits which circulated between Anglo and Irish Life and Permanent.

The transfers were routed through Irish Life Assurance (ILA), returning to Anglo where they were then treated as customer deposits, which are a better indicator of a bank’s health.

Mr Drumm also denies false accounting, by providing misleading information to the market.

Earlier, the judge completed her charge to the jury, giving guidance on the legal principles that apply in the case.

She summarised some of the evidence the jury had heard and told them transcripts of the many recorded phone calls they had heard would be made available to them.

“There is some language that you might regard as bad language,” she said. “I would remind you that these were clearly very stressful and very difficult times.”

People were under “a lot of pressure “ at the time, Judge O’Connor said.

“I ask you to remember that in relation to any poor language which you are of a view was evident on the phone calls.”

Before the ballot was carried out, the jury forewoman said two jurors would step down “if that makes it easier.”

However, prosecutor Paul O’Higgins said that was not provided for in the legislation.

The judge said she was sorry she could not proceed on that basis and the 12 names were called out.

Judge O’Connor said she was aware the trial had been an “enormous amount of inconvenience” and a “huge commitment” on the part of the two jurors. She excused them from any further jury duty for life.

Later in the afternoon, the jury asked to hear the recording of a phone call between Mr Drumm and John Bowe on September 19, 2008. In the call, replayed in court, Mr Drumm referred to “f**king Freddie f**king Fly down there, the Financial Regulator” and spoke about looking for money from the Central Bank.

“We need the f**king loan because we are running out of money,” he said. "If they don't give it to us on Monday they have a bank collapse. If the money keeps running out the door.”

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News