Legal Coffee Break



[Willie McAteer leaves the Central Criminal Court, Dublin yesterday following sentencing in the Anglo trial]

Dave writes:

“Now that the Anglo trial, such as it was, is concluded, can I ask about a point that seemed significant to me, but was largley ignored by the media. My understanding of the chain of event relating to the directive to find Fitzpatrick and Whelan not guilty in relation to the letters sent out to the Maple 10 is this:
Pretrial: Prosecution brings a number of charges in relation to the nature and the alteration of the letters/agreements, based on evidence allowable.
Trial: Judge directs prosecution to drop the charges and instead submit a charge directed (dictated) by himself. Following this, he then rules that the charges he has directed the prosecution to bring will not hold up in court, due to the phrasing of it – not because there is no evidence of wrongdoing, but because of the specific wording of the charge. He then tells prosecution that he will not allow them to bring another charge.
I’m just wondering if there is any legal precedent for this chain of events?; and does this mean that neither party can now be tried for any of the original charges the prosecution had brought, or do they just have indemnity for the single specific charge that they were found not guilty of? I’ve asked a few friends with various degrees of legal knowledge, and none of them seem quite sure of the answers – or the precedents this sets.”

(Legal Coffee Drinker has been alerted.)

Meanwhile, anyone?

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(Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland)