Probe into Anglo collapse extended
on 18/01/2013 00:00:00
The director had sought a three-year extension of orders allowing retention of documents seized from the bank for the investigation, which began four years ago.
The extension was sought to complete the probe and facilitate what the DPP anticipates will be lengthy criminal trials arising from matters being investigated.
The High Court yesterday heard the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) believed the probes have disclosed matters which will warrant other decisions by the DPP.
Mr Justice Peter Kelly said yesterday he would extend the orders for one year only to Jan 17, 2014, as he was anxious to ensure a three-year extension would not result in any reduction in the "intensity" of the probe. However, he said he was not suggesting such a reduction would happen.
The judge noted that probes had concluded into two of five issues being investigated. If investigations had concluded into all five issues and decisions were taken in regard to all issues whether to prosecute or not, he would have granted the three-year extension as a lengthy trial process would be anticipated, he said.
The judge was told the DPP had brought charges against former Anglo executives in relation to the two issues where the ODCE investigation has concluded.
Former Anglo chairman Seán FitzPatrick and two former senior Anglo executives - Pat Whelan and Willie McAteer - have been charged arising from the investigation into possible breaches of Section 60 of the Companies Act prohibiting a financial institution advancing loans to buy its own shares.
They are accused of unlawfully helping to back investors - including members of Seán Quinn's family - to buy Anglo shares in 2008.
Una Ní Raifeartaigh, counsel for the DPP, said the normal waiting period for a trial in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court was one year but that might be reduced if the case was managed by a designated judge.
Arising from the investigation into a second issue - the alleged "warehousing" of loans to Anglo directors in Irish Nationwide Building Society - Mr FitzPatrick was charged last month with failing to disclose an arrangement between Anglo and INBS under which the building society loaned him money between 2002 and 2007.
He was also charged with allegedly deceiving the failed bank's auditors in relation to his personal loans over that same period. A book of evidence may be served in March, Ms Ní Raifeartaigh indicated.
The investigation into the three other issues is continuing although the ODCE considers it is practically complete in all but one of those areas.