Monday, October 07 14:24:06
An important step will be taken in the coming weeks when four people will make depositions in the District Court as the case against Anglo Irish Bank chief executive Sean Fitzpatrick and two others draws near.
Anglo's former chief financial officer Matt Moran and Fiachra O'Neill, group head of compliance, as well as Robert Heron of Matheson solicitors and Con Horan of the former Financial Services Authority will make statements in the case that hinges on the defunct bank allegedly dishing out loans for the purchase of the bank's own shares.
RTE News today reported that the defendants's lawyers are claiming confidentiality over documents that may be relevant to the upcoming trial of three former bank executives, the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court has been told.
The matter was raised as part of a hearing in advance of the trial of former Anglo chairman, Sean FitzPatrick, and two former directors of the bank, William McAteer and Pat Whelan.
The three men are due to go on trial in January next year.
They are charged with 16 counts of allegedly providing unlawful financial assistance to individuals to buy shares in the bank.
The offences are alleged to have occurred in July 2008.
Brendan Grehan, Senior Counsel for Mr Whelan, told the court the former Anglo Irish Bank was claiming that documents generated after 18 December 2008 were subject to a form of confidentiality called Legal Professional Privilege.
Mr Grehan said the question of privilege was "a boil that was going to have to be lanced" at some stage and "the sooner the better".
He said the question of legal advice would be "crucial to this trial".
Lawyers for the DPP said legal representatives for the Special Liquidator in charge of the former Anglo Irish Bank did not see the relevance of documents generated after 18 December 2008, when a new board was appointed to the bank.
Una Ni Raifeartaigh said lawyers for the DPP had no legal entitlement to look at the documents.
She also said the DPP had asked the Department of Finance to waive privilege in relation to certain documents.
Mr Grehan said his legal team were "underwhelmed" at the response of the department to their request for documents.
The court also ordered two other former Anglo executives, as well as a solicitor and another man to provide statements, known as depositions, in advance of the trial.
Prosecution and defence lawyers once again asked the judge if a trial judge could be assigned to the trial now to deal with pre-trial issues.
Mr Grehan described the forthcoming prosecution as "a very challenging trial for all".