Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

More bank chief trial jurors sought

Prosecutors aim to apply for more jurors for the trial of 64-year-old ex-Anglo Irish Bank chief executive and chairman Sean FitzPatrick and two senior executives

Prosecutors plan to apply for extra jurors to hear the trial of former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive and chairman Sean FitzPatrick and two senior executives.

FitzPatrick, 64, former finance director William McAteer, 62, and former managing director of lending Pat Whelan, 50, face 16 charges each of trying to falsely inflate the lender's share price in 2008.

The trial is due to begin in January at the Circuit Criminal Court in Dublin and had been expected to last between three and six months.

Diane Stuart, junior counsel for the Director of Public Prosecutions, told the court there will be an application under the Juries Act.

The new law, which came in to effect in July, allows for up to 15 people to be sworn in as jurors for a lengthy trial instead of the usual 12.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring adjourned the pre-trial hearing until December 6, when on-going issues regarding the disclosure of documents will be heard by Judge Martin Nolan.

John Fitzgerald, junior counsel for FitzPatrick, said very important witness statements were also being taken over the next three weeks.

The three men did not address the court during the short hearing.

Dressed in suits, FitzPatrick and McAteer sat separately in the body of the packed courtroom, while Whelan stood near the door.

The 16 charges against each man are linked to alleged loans of 451 million euro (£350 million) to the family of bankrupt former billionaire Sean Quinn and a golden circle of clients hand picked to invest in stock to prop up the share price.

All three were remanded on continuous bail.

Separately, FitzPatrick has been charged and sent forward for trial on 12 counts of giving auditors false or misleading information on directors' loans of at least 140 million euro (£117.7 million) over a six- year period.

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