Illness delays trial of ex-Anglo banker Sean FitzPatrick
The judge in the trial of former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick has told the jury that an illness is causing difficulty in a trial which has been repeatedly delayed for the last three weeks.
On April 14 last, Mr FitzPatrick (66) of Whitshed Road, Greystones, Co Wicklow pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to 27 offences under the Companies Act, 1990. These include 21 charges of making a misleading, false or deceptive statement to auditors and six charges of furnishing false information.
The charges are in connection with the disclosure of loans allegedly given to him or people connected to him by Irish Nationwide Building Society from 2002 to 2007 while he was an officer of Anglo Irish Bank.
The jury of six men and six women had been told that the trial would run for six weeks.
Legal argument began on April 16 but the jury were repeatedly notified that the opening of the trial before them would be delayed.
Yesterday Judge Mary Ellen Ring asked the jury to return to court next Wednesday.
She said an illness had caused "serious timetable problems".
She told them: "It's not just lawyers speaking extra long".
Mr FitzPatrick is accused of failing to disclose to Anglo's auditors, Ernst and Young, the true amount of loans to him or people connected with him.
The prosecution claims he authorised arrangements to ensure that the balance of those loans would be reduced or appear to be reduced at the end of the bank's financial year and failed to tell the auditors about this.
He is also accused of failing to tell them about arrangements between Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide Building Society in connection with loans to him by Irish Nationwide.
Mr FitzPatrick denies all claims.