Illness latest delay to Sean FitzPatrick trial

The judge in the trial of former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick has told the jury an illness is causing difficulty in a trial which has been repeatedly delayed for the last three weeks.

On April 14, Mr FitzPatrick, aged 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 at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court would run for six weeks up until May 29 but immediate legal issues had to be dealt with before the evidence could be opened to the jury. Legal argument began on April 16 and the jury were repeatedly notified by telephone that the opening of the trial before them would be delayed.

Yesterday morning Judge Mary Ellen Ring asked the jury to return to court next Wednesday. She said that in any trial there may be difficulties and in this one there’s an illness that has caused “serious timetable problems”. She told them: “It’s not just lawyers speaking extra long.”

Earlier this week Judge Ring told the jury that matters have taken longer than anyone could have predicted, for a “variety of reasons”. She apologised to the jurors and told them she could not say when the trial would actually start before them in evidence. She said people may have commitments and asked jurors to look at their positions and see if they had difficulties.


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