Thursday, September 19 11:30:53
The trials next year of three former Anglo Irish Bank executives could be jeopardised if the bank was included in the upcoming Dail enquiry, according to Government Ministers.
The Government gave the go-ahead yesterday for the inquiry under new laws as the Dail resumed after its nine-week summer recess.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the inquiry should focus on the bank guarantee and events leading up to it, the role of banks and auditors, and the role of State institutions. Mr Kenny said it was his earnest hope and expectation - and that of the Government - that the inquiry was conducted prudently and judiciously "having regard to pending criminal trials".
This matter is viewed with great sensitivity due to the potential for trials to collapse if defendants successfully argue they cannot get a fair hearing.
Former Anglo chairman Sean FitzPatrick, former finance director Willie McAteer and former leader of the bank's business in Ireland Pat Whelan are due to stand trial in January.