herald

Monday 25 September 2017

Ex-bankers fail in appeal against conviction for €7.2bn conspiracy

Denis Casey (p) Pic: Collins Courts
Denis Casey (p) Pic: Collins Courts

The Court of Appeal has upheld the convictions of two former bank executives, jailed last year for a €7.2bn conspiracy to defraud the public about the true health of Anglo Irish Bank in 2008.

Former head of capital markets with Anglo Irish Bank, John Bowe (53), from Glasnevin, and former chief executive of Irish Life and Permanent, Denis Casey (57), from Raheny, had pleaded not guilty to a single count of conspiring to mislead investors by using inter- bank loans to make Anglo appear €7.2bn more valuable between March 1 and September 30, 2008.

A jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court found them guilty following one of the longest criminal trials in the history of the State. Judge Martin Nolan sentenced Bowe to two years and Casey to two years and nine months' imprisonment on July 29, 2016.

The men had brought appeals against their convictions, which were heard over a week in March.

Publication of the appeal hearing was restricted for legal reasons but yesterday the three-judge Court of Appeal dismissed the men's appeals and upheld their convictions.

John Bowe Pic: Collins Courts
John Bowe Pic: Collins Courts

In a 138-page judgment, President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice Sean Ryan said the court had taken into account the "extensive" grounds of appeal advanced on the men's behalf and the arguments concerning their convictions.

Mr Justice Ryan said the "lengthy and complex trial" ultimately turned on issues for the jury that were properly identified by the trial judge, who had exercised his function "carefully and correctly".

The Court of Appeal found no fault with the trial judge's rulings and directions and the jury had come to conclusions that were open to them to find, Mr Justice Ryan said.

Satisfied

The men's grounds of appeal included arguments about the role of the State authorities; objections to the admissibility of the evidence of the prosecution's expert witness; and submissions on rulings and directions to the jury by the trial judge.

Despite "Herculean" efforts by the men's barristers the three-judge court was satisfied that the men's trial was satisfactory and their convictions safe.

Mr Justice Ryan, who sat with Mr Justice George Birmingham and Mr Justice John Edwards, said the appeal must accordingly be dismissed.

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