FitzPatrick to get free legal aid in loan trial
Former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick has been granted legal aid for his upcoming trial on charges of failing to disclose loans from another bank.
Mr FitzPatrick (65), of Whitshed Road, Greystones, Co Wicklow, is charged under Section 197 of the Companies Act 1990.
He faces 12 counts of failing to disclose to auditors Ernst & Young the true value of loans worth at least €139m given to him or people connected to him, by Irish Nationwide Building Society from 2002 to 2007 while he was an officer of the bank.
Mr FitzPatrick's solicitor, Michael Staines, told Judge Mary Ellen Ring that his client had "just emerged from bankruptcy" and is entitled to legal aid.
In a hearing in July at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Mr Staines had submitted that Mr FitzPatrick would not be able to fund his upcoming case unless he is awarded his costs from a previous trial in which he was acquitted on all charges.
Last June, Judge Martin Nolan rejected an application for costs for that trial and Mr Staines told Judge Ring that leave had been granted for a judicial review of this decision.
In July, Mr Staines said that the judicial review could take up to a year and he said in the meantime his client could not afford to take on barristers.
Judge Ring yesterday granted legal aid and three counsel to Mr Staines at a vacation sitting of Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
The trial is set for February 2 next year with a pre-trial hearing scheduled for December 12, 2014.