Tag Archives: Sean Fitzpatrick

fitzpatrickjobstown

From top: Sean Fitzpatrick; Jobstown portest in Dublin city Centre last Summer

Developments in the trial of the ‘Jobstown 23’ – for the alleged ‘false imprisonment’ of then Tanaiste Joan Burton – have put the right to a ‘jury of your peers’ under threat.

Anonymous writes:

When the jury for Sean Fitzpatrick’s case was being selected, directions were given to jurors to exclude themselves if they had been strongly affected by the banking crisis, had been active in any campaigning groups, had been involved in anti-austerity protests, or had expressed themselves on social media about the banking crisis.

On that basis, juror 791 was excluded.

Now for the first adult false imprisonment #JobstownNotGuilty trial, the DPP is trying to stack the jury against the defendants. They have written to the seven defendants’ solicitors putting forward a proposed formula for excluding jurors, on an extraordinarily wide basis.

This includes excluding:

“People from the Jobstown/Tallaght area and people with such connections to the area as would give rise to a concern that they could not deal with the case impartially.”

“Persons who are active in any campaigning groups either for or against water charges (whether formal or informal).”

“Persons who have expressed themselves in public, whether on the Internet, in the print media (newspapers), broadast media (radio or television), on social media (including Facebook, Twitter, on-line comment pages of websites or newspapers or any other form of social media) or otherwise on publically available mediums, on issues concerning water charges and/or the events on the 15th November 2014….”

Ruling out people from Tallaght excludes a large working class community. Ruling out those active in campaigning groups for or against water charges would obviously exclude very few people on the pro-water charges side, but a large number of those against water charges.

It could even be stretched to exclude every member of a trade union, given that it is ICTU policy to oppose water charges.

Similarly, ruling out those who have expressed themselves on water charges publicly would disproportionately exclude those against water charges and younger people who are more likely to be active on social media.

What is being attempted is blatant – to exclude as many working class people and those against water charges.

On what grounds can it be suggested that people expressing views on water charges makes them incapable of being impartial in what is supposed to be a ‘false imprisonment’ trial?

Worryingly, the trial judge in court on Friday, March 31 described the DPP proposals as “very sensible”. A different judge, Judge Ryan, will make a decision on the proposal to exclude people from the jury on the first day of trial Monday April, 24.

The contrast with the Sean Fitzpatrick case should not be lost. Legally speaking, Sean Fitzpatrick and the Jobstown protesters are in the same position – they are defendants.

Yet in Fitzpatrick’s case, the jury was stacked in his favour. In the Jobstown case, the DPP is going all out to stack it against the defendants.

The difference? He’s a banker, they’re anti-austerity protesters.

Rollingnews

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Sean Fitzpatrick

Agitprop specialists The Bogman’s Cannon today posted comments reportedly from the juror excluded from the trial of Anglo-Irish Bank’s Seanie Fitzpatrick, as reported last night by RTÉ News.

‘Juror 791’, who is a a member of People Before profit, writes:

RTÉ reported yestertoday on TV and radio, on the selection of a jury for trial of Sean Fitzpatick. The report referred to a woman selected for the jury panel, who said loudly in court that she “most decidedly was not neutral in the case of bankers”.

Had I known RTÉ would carry my comments, I’d have made more of them.

I might have said for instance, that the criteria used to out-rule potential jurors is preposterous, excluding as it does anyone who may have “..expressed themselves in public… whether on the internet, on social media, including FaceBook…concerning Anglo Irish Bank PLC, or the banking crisis or bankers in general..”. (These are the judge’s words, not mine!).

The judge also explained that a fine of up to 2000 Euros could apply if you failed to exclude yourself from the jury if any of the following applied:

if you had been strongly affected by the banking crisis,

if you had “been active in any campaigning groups, either formal or informal”,

if you had “..been involved in protests….anti austerity protests and such like..”.

So who is left? Who has not been affected by FEMPI, or USC or cutbacks in public services, and might feel that these were connected to the banking crisis and have strong feelings about bankers as a consequence?

Or suppose you ‘liked’ a post on Facebook put up by one of those hundreds of thousands who campaigned against Water Charges or other austerity measures, or supposing, heaven forbid, you were one of those protestors. Well sorry, you just couldn’t possible be a juror then, now could you?

Does this not seem to be a very serious flaw in our justice system? If having a sense of outrage at the wrongdoing of the banking elites, or a sense of social responsibility such that you protest about injustice, or simply disagree with government policy and protest about that, that if any of this applies to you, then you are unfit as a juror.

It put me in mind of a great song years ago by the punk band Stiff Little Fingers, called “Suspect Device”. The suspect device was… a brain – you got one, don’t apply for jury duty.

Objection!

Overruled!

Clear the court.

Etc.

The Bogman’s Cannon

90376265Former chairman of Anglo Irish Bank Seán FitzPatrick last year

Sean FitzPatrick trial over loans disclosure due to begin (Irish Times)

First ever person charged with assisting suicide here to go on trial today (Independent.ie)

90337686Ekeh Location Map

Last week’s Sunday Times reported how former Anglo Irish Bank Seán FitzPatrick’s legal costs – following the trial in which he was acquitted of 16 charges – are likely to amount be between €500,000 and €1million.

Journalist Mark Tighe reported how he asked Mr FitzPatrick – who is bankrupt – if he applied for legal aid.

Brian Harmon, a PR consultant who is also a lawyer and who accompanied Mr FitzPatrick throughout the trial at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, said Mr FitzPatrick had no comment.

Mr Tighe also asked if businessman, and the largest shareholder in Independent News and Media, Denis O’Brien helped to foot Mr FitzPatrick’s legal bill.

Mr Harmon, who has previously acted as spokesman for Mr O’Brien, said Mr O’Brien had no involvement in the court case.

Separately, it was reported in The Sunday Independent that the sale of an oil field in Nigeria may help to pay off Mr FitzPatrick’s €110million debts to the former Anglo Irish Bank.

Mr FitzPatrick is a member of a consortium which owns the Nigerian Ekeh oil field, and Nick Webb in the Sunday Independent reported yesterday that Midway Resources has indicated that it wants to buy the field.

Mr Webb reported:

“The owner of the Ekeh field is a company called Movido Exploration, whose shareholders include Sean FitzPatrick, the former non-executive chairman of Anglo Irish Bank.”

“The other shareholders in the scheme are former Anglo director and ex-Dublin Docklands Development chairman Lar Bradshaw, oil engineer Jim O’Driscoll and a group of Nigerian business people and former military personnel.These include a former vice-admiral in the Nigerian navy, Victor Ombu. FitzPatrick, Bradshaw and O’Driscoll are believed to own about 39 per cent of Movido Exploration.”

You may recall chapter 12 of the book The FitzPatrick Tapes, (by Tom Lyons and Brian Carey). You must. It’s the one WITHOUT an index.

It tells how, in March 2009, Denis O’Brien lent Mr FitzPatrick and Lar Bradshaw – who both resigned from Anglo in December 2008 – his private jet and travelled with them to Lagos in Nigeria to convince the Nigerian businessmen involved in the project that he was good for his investment.

Mr Lyons and Mr Carey wrote “O’Brien and lent his jet and his support in order to soothe the anxieties of the Nigerian businessmen who had been following FitzPatrick’s tribulations in Ireland with increasing alarm and were losing faith in his ability to keep funding the well”.

Mr Lyons and Mr Carey wrote how Mr O’Brien lent the two men his private jet and travelled with them to Lagos to meet their Nigerian colleagues.

Good times.

(Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland)

90337971 90337972 90337974 90337978[Sean Fitzpatrick outside Dublin Circuit Criminal Court this evening]

“The former chairman of Anglo Irish Bank Sean FitzPatrick has been acquitted of all 11 charges of providing unlawful financial assistance to the Quinn family.”

Former Anglo chairman Sean FitzPatrick acquitted of all charges (Francesca Comyn, Newstalk)

(Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland)

Meanwhile…

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Martyn Rosney writes:

“There’s Angloalways One”

Meanwhile…

tv3

Odackatee writes:

“Defiant reporting on TV3 on Sean Fitz verdict…”

taxi[Sean Fitzpatrick leaving the Circuit Criminal Court this afternoon}

A number of charges against Sean FitzPatrick, former Chairman of Anglo Irish Bank, relating to loans to the Quinn family were dropped today in the High Court.

Judge Martin Nolan ruled that Mr FitzPatrick [who awaits judgement on several other charges] be found not guilty on six counts of illegal lending to the Quinn family. .

As closing arguments in the trial commenced this afternoon, we asked Legal Coffee Drinker what it’s all about

Broadsheet: “Legal Coffee Drinker what’s it all about?”

LCD: “It’s an exercise of the power, inherent in any judge presiding over a jury trial, direct an acquittal by the jury on a charge where they feel, at the end of the prosecution case and before the defence calls evidence, that a prima facie case has not been made out by the prosecution in relation to that charge.”

Broadsheet; “Imagine I am a non Latin speaker with a rudimentary  knowledge of the law.”

LCD: “A prima facie case is evidence on which a reasonable jury could conclude that the accused was guilty of the offence charged. The DPP’s own website describes it a ‘admissible, substantial and reliable evidence’.”

Broadsheet: “Thank you. So the judge felt there wasn’t sufficient evidence that Mr FitzPatrick was guilty of the offences in question?”

LCD: “Yes. In particular he felt that there wasn’t a prima facie case that Mr FitzPatrick had knowledge of the Quinn loan, which was something which needed to be shown to prove guilt.”

Broadsheet: “Is a judicial direction to acquit appealable?”

LCD: “No. Section 34 of the Criminal Procedure Act 1967, as amended by section 21 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006, provides that where, on a question of law, a verdict in favour of an accused person is found by direction of the trial judge, the Attorney General or the Director of Public Prosecutions may refer the question of law to the Supreme Court for determination. However Section 34 is without prejudice to a verdict in favour of the accused. That means he remains acquitted, even if the Supreme Court holds the trial judge was wrong in directing an acquittal.”

Broadsheet: “So Sean FitzPatrick is free on those charges?”

LCD: “Yes. [drains coffee] But the trial continues against him on other counts. If the jury feel satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that he is guilty on those counts, he may be convicted. After that, sentencing is a matter for the trial judge. Rumpole’s golden thread provides a good definition of reasonable doubt if you are interested.”

Broadsheet: “Good old Rumpole.”

LCD: “Are we done?’

Broadsheet: “Of course. You sound a bit like ‘She-Who-Must-Be Obeyed’ there” [laughs]

LCD: [pause]

Broadsheet: “Thank you very much Legal Coffee Drinker. A great help as always.”

[call ends]

Closing arguments commence in Anglo trial (RTE)

Thanks Stephen Byrne

(Sam Boal/Photocall ireland)