Belfast Telegraph

Anglo case against former employee adjourned

By Tim Healy

A commercial Court action by the former Anglo Irish Bank against its former head of lending has been adjourned.

The Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IRBC) is suing Tom Browne in relation to more than €50m (£40m) loans given to him by the bank prior to its nationalisation. The civil action was due to go ahead later this month.

A judge agreed to adjourn the case pending criminal proceedings against former Anglo chief executive Sean FitzPatrick and senior executive Pat Whelan who Mr Browne says are essential witnesses in the case against him.

Mr Browne from Dublin claims he has no liability to IRBC on grounds including, when the loans were made, the bank was allegedly aware the interest acquired by Sean Quinn in the bank was such as to undermine its stability and to render his holding valueless.

Had he known of such matters, he'd never have exercised his share options in late November 2007 or held on to shares which became "worthless", he claims.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Brian McGovern said there appeared to be a substantial overlap between the civil case involving Mr Browne and the FitzPatrick/Whelan criminal proceedings. The judge said he had no knowledge of the criminal proceedings, only what he had read in newspapers and only a limited knowledge of the civil case. The rights of citizens involved in criminal proceedings must take precedence, he said.

Earlier, counsel for the DPP Una N Raifeartaigh, said it would be better to postpone the civil trial until after criminal proceedings as there may be an overlap.