Judge excuses two jurors from serving in Sean FitzPatrick trial

Two jurors have been excused from serving in the trial of former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick on charges of misleading the bank’s auditors about millions of euro in loans.

Judge excuses two jurors from serving in Sean FitzPatrick trial

Last month, a specially enlarged jury panel of 15 was sworn in at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for the trial, which is expected to run for three months.

Judge John Aylmer told the jury yesterday that the parties in the case were still involved in a legal matter that the jurors had previously been made aware of. He said that the time estimate for dealing with this matter had been somewhat of an underestimate.

Two jurors who the judge said now had difficulties which were “insurmountable” were excused from continuing to serve on the jury. One juror told the court that she was waiting to see how much she would receive in social welfare during her jury service.

“They would only give me €67 a week. I can’t live on that,” she said, adding that she started a full-time job last week.

The second juror was excused because of a bereavement and difficulties arising as a consequence of this.

Judge Aylmer said that it was likely that the trial could start before the jury by October 26 and told the remaining jurors to return to court that day.

He reminded them of the difficulty the court had in assembling a jury for the lengthy trial and asked them if there were any other issues in their minds around completion of their jury duty.

“We need to know and be sure that the rest of you are free and able to see this case out,” Judge Aylmer said. He told them the case is due to finish before Christmas and that the delays in starting the trial before the jury did not alter this schedule.

None of the remaining 13 jurors raised any issues with serving on the jury for the remainder of the trial.

Mr FitzPatrick, aged 68, of Whitshed Rd, Greystones, Co Wicklow, is accused of failing to disclose to the bank’s auditor, Ernst and Young, the details of director’s loans he received from Anglo between November 2002 and February 2008.

He pleaded not guilty to 27 offences under the 1990 Companies Act, including 22 charges of making a false statement to auditors.

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