FitzPatrick pleads for privacy after acquittal

Former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Seán FitzPatrick has been acquitted on all counts of permitting illegal lending for the purchase of Anglo shares.

FitzPatrick pleads for privacy after acquittal

Just after 5pm yesterday, Mr FitzPatrick was found not guilty of 10 counts of illegal lending after the jury deliberated for 13-and-a-half hours over four days.

Judge Martin Nolan last week ordered the jury to acquit Mr FitzPatrick of another six counts of illegal lending due to lack of evidence.

The judge formally discharged Mr FitzPatrick from the trial and told him he was free to go. The jurors are still deliberating on the charges against Pat Whelan and William McAteer and will return this morning.

Mr FitzPatrick smiled slightly as the verdicts were read out and afterwards embraced his family and shook hands with his legal team. He read a short statement outside the court thanking the jury and his legal team.

“I now simply ask that the courtesy, which has been extended to me and my family during this trial by the media, will be maintained and the privacy of my family which has been intruded on over the past six years will now cease.”

Mr FitzPatrick, Mr McAteer, and Mr Whelan were charged at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court with breaching section 60 of the Companies Act 1963 by lending money to investors to buy shares in Anglo.

Mr Whelan, aged 51, of Malahide, Dublin, and Mr McAteer, aged 63, of Rathgar, Dublin, were accused of 16 counts of providing unlawful financial assistance to 16 individuals in July 2008 to buy shares in the bank. The 16 individuals are six members of the Quinn family and the Maple Ten group of investors.

Mr FitzPatrick, aged 65, of Greystones, Co Wicklow, was charged with 10 counts of loaning money to the Maple Ten.

All three denied the charges. The jury was earlier ordered to acquit Mr Whelan of a series of related counts.

The Maple Ten deal was designed to unwind the 29.4% control of the bank which businessman Seán Quinn had built up through investment tools known as contracts for difference.

The 10 investors were loaned a total of €450m by Anglo to buy around 10% of the shares which Mr Quinn controlled. Mr Quinn’s wife and five children were also loaned €169m to buy nearly 15% of the stock.

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