Former solicitor admits forging signature on loan document under duress

Former solicitor admits forging signature on loan document under duress

Former solicitor Thomas Byrne has told his €52m theft and fraud trial that he forged a colleague’s signature on a loan document under duress.

The 47-year-old with an address at Mountjoy Square, Dublin has also claimed under cross examination that certain bankers knew that the properties he was offering as collateral on loans were already mortgaged.

Mr Byrne told the prosecution: "I know you're only interested in a verdict but I'm interested in the truth."

The former solicitor is now being cross-examined about millions of euro worth of bank loans he took out between 2004 and 2007 which he says were mostly for his former business partner John Kelly.

He claims to have been afraid of the property developer who he says liked James Bond and had a large yacht called Thunderball.

He admits forging a former colleague’s signature on a loan document but claims he did it under duress.

Asked if he sees himself as being a victim in all of this, he replied: "On some level I know that if I'd never met John Kelly, I wouldn't be sitting here and my life could have gone a different way."


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