FitzPatrick trial jury yet to hear evidence

The judge in the trial of former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick has told the jury she does not know when the trial will begin in evidence.

The jury of six men and six women were sworn on April 14 and told that the trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court would run for six weeks up until May 28.

The trial has been in legal argument since April 16 and the jurors have been notified by telephone a number of times that the opening of the trial before them would be delayed.

Mr FitzPatrick, aged 66, of Whitshed Road, Greystones, Co Wicklow has pleaded not guilty 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.

Yesterday morning Judge Mary Ellen Ring told the jury that matters have taken longer than anyone could have predicted, for a “variety of reasons”.

She asked the jurors to return tomorrow and said at this point, she could not say when the trial would actually start before them in evidence. She said it will not finish this month and asked them to consider their abilities to stick with the trial now that it will run into June. She said people may have commitments and asked jurors to look at their positions and see if they had difficulties.

Judge Ring noted that one juror has had difficulties with his employer around his jury service and she said the court could arrange for correspondence for any other jurors who were having similar difficulties.

During the empanelment of the jury last month, 31 people were excused from jury service after giving reasons to the judge in private.

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