Friday 20 April 2018

Review of decision to proceed with trial of former Anglo boss Sean Fitzpatrick to be heard next week

Sean Fitzpatrick
Sean Fitzpatrick
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

A date has been set next week for a hearing of the judicial review of a decision by a judge to proceed with the trial of former Anglo boss Sean Fitzpatrick.

The review will take place at the High Court next Friday.

Mr Fitzpatrick (66) did not attend the brief hearing before Mr Justice John Hedigan this morning.

The former Head of Anglo, with an address at Whitshed Road, Greystones, Co Wicklow 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.

The trial is scheduled to begin on 5 October, but Mr Fitzpatrick claims he cannot get a fair trial due to adverse publicity published and broadcast about him.

At a previous hearing, Judge Martin Nolan rejected an application from Mr Fitzpatrick's lawyers to have his trial adjourned because of a recent case involving other Anglo officials.

Mr Fitzpatrick's lawyer, at that time, submitted that the recent adverse publicity would be fresh in the minds of the public and meant that his client could not get a fair trial until the memory of this has faded. Mr Condon argued that a trial on 5 October would be a “deeply flawed” process.

However, Judge Nolan said that a fade out of publicity was not possible for Mr Fitzpatrick. He said his case was a unique case in legal history because he has been the subject of “huge criticism, ridicule and odium since 2008.”

He said that he believed he could rely on jury to listen to the evidence and follow instructions and base their verdict on what they heard during the trial alone.

He said: “Mr Fitzpatrick's reputation is negative at this stage. It seems to be that the trial should go ahead”.

Mr Fitzpatrick's is now seeking for the trial at the Central Criminal Court to be prevented from going ahead altogether.

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