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Sean FitzPatrick launches legal bid to stop his trial going ahead


Former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick

Former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick

Former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick

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 5th.

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

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 today launched High Court judicial review proceedings against both the DPP and Judge Nolan.

The matter was briefly mentioned before Mr Justice Bernard Barton at this mornings vacation sitting of the High Court.

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

In addition counsel said Mr FitzPatrick, who was not present in court, is 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.

The Judge directed that Mr FitzPatrick's application be heard in the presence of the DPP on Friday August 21st next.

Last Thursday Judge Nolan said he was declining Mr FitzPatrick's application to put back the trial. The Judge in his ruling pointed out that the defendant had been the subject of attention for some time and that there has been a huge amount of adverse publicity directed toward Sean FitzPatrick since 2008.

However the Judge said he believes a jury can deal with the case impartially. 

Mr FitzPatrick’s acquittal at a separate recent criminal trial underscored his confidence in this regard, in that the jury arrived at a verdict based on the facts of the case.

Lawyers for the DPP has submitted that the publicity did not render the trial incapable of going ahead in October.

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