Judge unhappy with pace of Anglo probe

A HIGH Court judge has expressed dissatisfaction with the progress of the Director of Corporate Enforcement and garda investigations into Anglo Irish Bank.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly also strongly criticised a failure to mount prosecutions in other commercial court cases involving judgments for millions of euro despite “prima facie evidence” and even admissions of criminal wrongdoing.

Mr Justice Kelly said he had sent such papers to the authorities years ago but no prosecutions had emerged.

“This is not a desirable state of affairs,” he said.

“An apparent failure to investigate thoroughly yet efficiently and expeditiously possible criminal wrong-doing in the commercial/ corporate sectors does nothing to instil confidence in the criminal justice system as applicable to that sector,” he said.

He was “not alone” in his “sense of disquiet”, he said.

Mr Justice Frank Clarke recently said it was “very surprising indeed” that little action had been taken against struck-off solicitor Thomas Byrne despite Mr Byrne’s admissions in court.

Mr Justice Kelly was giving judgment after refusing an application by the director for a six-month extension of the Anglo investigation. The judge said he would extend the probe only to July 28 when he expected “much progress” to have been achieved.

He warned if a further extension was sought in July, he would have to be given a detailed update on progress, including what happened to material sent by investigators to the DPP last year.


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