Jury sworn in as former Anglo chairman pleads not guilty to 27 charges
The jury has been sworn in for the trial of former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick, who is accused of failing to disclose the true value of multi-million euro loans to the bank's auditors.
Yesterday morning, Mr FitzPatrick pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to charges connected with failing to disclose the true value of loans 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.
Mr FitzPatrick (66), of Whitshed Road, Greystones, Co Wicklow, is charged with 27 offences under the 1990 Companies Act, including 21 charges of making a misleading, false or deceptive statement to auditors. The other six charges are of furnishing false information.
Dressed in a grey suit, white shirt and a grey tie, Mr FitzPatrick stood while the details of the 27 charges were read to him by the courts registrar. He denies all charges.
Judge Mary Ellen Ring read out a list of 76 witnesses to the jury panel, including Alan Dukes, from the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, Fintan Drury and Matt Moran, formerly of Anglo Irish Bank and Stan Purcell, former chief financial officer of Irish Nationwide Building Society.
She told them if anyone knows anyone connected to the case or to Mr FitzPatrick or his solicitors they should not serve as a juror.
She said that persons who have expressed themselves in public, on the internet or on social media on issues concerning Anglo Irish Bank, or the banking crisis or bankers in general, should not serve.
The judge also said that anyone who was a customer of Anglo Irish Bank or had shares in the bank or in other banks in the State should not serve.
"Persons who have strong feelings about or are personally affected by the banking crisis in the State in such a way that it would interfere with their capacity to be impartial, should not serve," Judge Ring said.
The trial is to start next Monday and will last up to the end of next month. The jury included a housewife, a childcare worker, a self-employed property manager, a self-employed computer programmer, an out of work IT worker, an engineer and a carpenter.
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.
He's also accused of failing to tell auditors about arrangements between Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide Building Society in connection with loans to him by Irish Nationwide.
Finally, he's accused of producing financial statements about the value of loans to Anglo's directors which failed to include the true amounts outstanding by him to the bank.