herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

Drumm will face fraud charge if he returns from US

Banking

David Drumm, who has been living in exile in the US
David Drumm, who has been living in exile in the US

Disgraced banker David Drumm is facing false accounting and conspiracy to defraud charges should he be returned to Ireland from the US, the Herald has learned.

Although gardai secured a district court warrant for Mr Drumm's arrest several months ago, the nature of the charges he is facing had not been confirmed until now.

"His extradition is not being sought for the purpose of questioning, but so that he can be formally charged," said a source.

The former Anglo Irish Bank boss has been living in self-imposed exile in Massachusetts since 2009.

Threatened

Details of the charges emerged as the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) stepped in to head off the prospect of Mr Drumm giving evidence to the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry.

The issue had threatened to collapse the inquiry, with its members deeply divided over whether the former Anglo Irish Bank boss should be allowed to appear via video link from the US.

However, legal advice received by the inquiry, as well as a request from the DPP for it not to call Mr Drumm, will mean he will not feature as a witness.

Mr Drumm has refused to comply with several requests to return to Ireland voluntarily to be questioned by gardai investigating matters at the former bank, in conjunction with the Director of Corporate Enforcement.

A substantial file outlining the proposed charges was submitted to US authorities via the Department of Foreign Affairs late last year.

Sources said the request was still "under active consideration" by US officials "in consultation with Irish authorities".

The extradition request was made under a long-standing bilateral treaty between Ireland and the US.

Under the 1983 Washington Treaty a person can only be extradited if they are charged or have been convicted of an extraditable offence.

The offence involved must also have a minimum jail term of at least one year.

It is understood that extra information may have been requested by US authorities in recent months, prolonging the extradition process.

Observers said US officials would need to satisfy themselves that there is a substantial case against Mr Drumm before agreeing to his extradition.

Last week, it emerged that Mr Drumm had filed a witness statement and offered to appear via video link following a request from the inquiry for him to give evidence.

While Mr Drumm will not now be called, the committee will still have to consider what to do with his evidence statement.

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