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Former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick
A judge has ruled that the trial of former Anglo chairman Sean Fitzpatrick CAN go ahead in October.
— Today FM News (@TodayFMNews) August 6, 2015
Previously: If The Crime Fitz
Phew. Monday from hell just became a little more benign. Sean FitzPatrick and Gail O’Rorke trials both adjourned.
— Conor Gallagher (@Courts_hack) April 13, 2015
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.
(Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland)
“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.”
(Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland)
Martyn Rosney writes:
“There’s Angloalways One”
“Defiant reporting on TV3 on Sean Fitz verdict…”
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]
Broadsheet: “Thank you very much Legal Coffee Drinker. A great help as always.”
Thanks Stephen Byrne
(Sam Boal/Photocall ireland)
A rare and fascinating find for the day that’s in it.
Nicht Besonders writes:
I thought I’d draw your attention to this video : It’s Aine Lawlor interviewing Sean FitzPatrick from December ’07 and in the intervening years it’s stuck in my memory for obvious reasons, more so than the Marian Finucane interview the week after the Bank Guarantee.
By pure coincidence I found it last night on an old hard-drive. I had downloaded it maybe four or five years agy, and knowing the way things can disappear from the internet, I thought it was worth keeping. Naturally, when the inevitable happened and I wanted to upload it to Youtube so that it would still be available for people still, I could not find it. Until last night….
Brendan Grehan SC, defending Mr Whelan told Judge Martin Nolan that a matter has come to his attention which may jeopardise the trial in January or the trial going ahead at all.
(Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland)