Belfast Telegraph

Ex-bank chief's tribunal adjourned

A public disciplinary tribunal involving former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick has been adjourned amid fears that it could prejudice criminal proceedings against the banker.

The Chartered Accountants Regulatory Board (CARB) confirmed it has postponed its disciplinary proceedings, which were due to be held early next month, at the request of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

It centred on alleged secret loan deals and the movement of more than seven billion euro between Anglo and Irish Life & Permanent (IL&P) to improve Anglo's year-end accounts.

In a statement, CARB said: "The DPP expressed his concern that the holding of public hearings and the publication of findings might prejudice future criminal proceedings in the event that a prosecution is directed against any party arising from the investigations of An Gardai Siochana and the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement.

"The disciplinary tribunal will now be adjourned until early October 2011, at which stage the circumstances will be re-considered by the disciplinary tribunal."

Mr FitzPatrick, who stepped down as chairman of the state-owned bank in December 2008, was arrested at his home in Greystones, Co Wicklow, last year by members of the Garda fraud squad investigating alleged financial irregularities at the bank. As an accountant, he was also subject of an investigation by CARB.

A case against Mr FitzPatrick was established by special investigator John Purcell, when he reported to CARB's complaints committee last December.

CARB said it is also considering whether to proceed with the establishment of three other disciplinary tribunals to hear the cases against three members of Chartered Accountants Ireland, against whom a case was established by the special investigator in light of the concerns expressed by the DPP.

They are Anglo's former chief executive David Drumm, its former finance chief Willie McAteer, and Peter Fitzpatrick, the former finance director of Irish Life and Permanent.

Elsewhere, multiple investigations into activities of Anglo Irish Bank by the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation and the Office of Director of Corporate Enforcement are ongoing.

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