Wednesday 19 December 2018

New jury selected for David Drumm fraud trial

Former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm arrives at the Courts of Criminal Justice. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm arrives at the Courts of Criminal Justice. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Alan O'Keeffe

A new jury was selected this afternoon in the David Drumm fraud trial.

Eight men and seven women were selected for the new jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court where former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm (51) is charged with false accountancy and conspiracy to defraud in 2008. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The original jury was discharged this morning after one of its members informed Judge Karen O'Connor he had difficulties which made it inappropriate for him to continue on the jury.

Judge O'Connor discharged the man this morning and said she had no alternative but to discharge the entire jury. She had indicated  the jury had already been sworn and charged to carry out its duties and a foreperson elected by the jury.

After the original jury was selected, seven of its  members were excused from serving on the jury  after making requests to be excused.  A number of them had  indicated  they had difficulties about the  long, five-month expected duration of the trial. All those members were replaced and  that jury of 15 was formally charged on Thursday with its duties and a foreperson was selected.

When the court was informed on Friday that a member of the newly constituted jury had made a request to be excused, the judge ruled that the matter would be dealt with today.

The normal 12-member jury is expanded to 15 members in trials that are expected to last more than two months to make provision for any member becoming unavailable to continuing serving on the jury.

Prosecuting senior counsel Paul O'Higgins said earlier the Director of Public Prosecutions stressed it was very important that the trial commence with 15 jury members.

Legal argument has been proceeding since Thursday in the absence of the jury.  Legal argument is expected to last until the end of January.

Mr Drumm (51), former chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank, has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to defraud and false accounting.

It is alleged Mr Drumm conspired with former Anglo executives John Bowe and Willie McAteer, former Irish Life and Permanent chief executive Denis Casey, and others to defraud depositors and investors at Anglo by dishonestly creating the impression that deposits in 2008 were €7.2bn larger than they were.

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