Anglo officials set to escape banking inquiry grilling

All but one of the Anglo Irish officials central to the economic crash are set to escape any public banking inquiry grilling over their role in the financial scandal.

Anglo officials set to escape banking inquiry grilling

Officials for the Oireachtas investigation admitted last night they will be unable to question the individuals after seven months of probing into the crisis that bankrupted the country.

While a spokesperson emphasised the inquiry has has received an unexpected written statement from former Anglo CEO David Drumm in recent days — meaning the banker is technically complying with the investigation — he is highly unlikely to attend on July 29.

This is because the US-based banker remains a person of interest to Irish authorities. Potential video evidence has previously been ruled out for legal reasons.

In a further blow, the DPP also formally told the inquiry last night it cannot question former Anglo chair Sean FitzPatrick and ex- directors John Bowe and Pat Whelan on July 24 and 29 due to an ongoing court case.

The investigation has also been snubbed by former director Tom Browne, who still works in the Irish financial sector.

Despite repeated requests for him to confirm he will attend on July 24, Mr Browne has only responded with a one-line email, resulting in the inquiry last night confirming that it will go to the courts to force him to attend in September.

The investigation is also facing further difficulties in ensuring former directors Peter Fitzgerald and Willie McAteer attend on July 24 and 29 as they are Anglo court case witnesses.

In addition, a May 20 meeting involving the bank’s boom-time auditors Ernst & Young saw the inquiry being told the firm could not comment on their Anglo work, again due to the court case.

Inquiry sources rejected claims the lack of key Anglo personnel means the investigation is ‘Hamlet without the prince’, instead arguing the Drumm statement is an unexpected success.

However, the situation means former non-executive Anglo director Fintan Drury — a PR expert and close confidante of former Fianna Fáil taoiseach Brian Cowen — is the only pre-crash bank official due to attend.

The inquiry will tomorrow see another former FF taoiseach Bertie Ahern attend in a hotly anticipated hearing.

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