Anglo Trial

Updates from the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

Irish Times Reporters Wed, Feb 19
 
LIVE: Anglo Trial

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  • 10:21

    Former chief financial officer of Anglo Irish Bank Matt Moran is due to resume giving evidence at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court this morning.

    Mr Moran, who began giving evidence yesterday, has been granted immunity from prosecution in the trial as well as in respect of other matters that might be prosecuted in the future.

    He told the court yesterday he was the “key person” who dealt with Morgan Stanley over the unwinding of the Quinn CFD (contracts for difference) position.

    While there had been a “lot of noise” in the markets about Seán Quinn’s possible stake in Anglo in 2007, this had not “crystallised” for him until late 2007 or early 2008.

    Seán FitzPatrick (65) of Greystones, Co Wicklow, William McAteer (63) of Rathgar, Dublin, and Pat Whelan (51) of Malahide, Dublin, have been charged with 16 counts of providing unlawful financial assistance to 16 individuals in July 2008 to buy shares in the bank, contrary to section 60 of the Companies Act.

    Mr Whelan has also been charged with being privy to the fraudulent alteration of loan facility letters to seven individuals. All three men have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

  • 10:26
  • 10:48

    At a glance, Matt Moran's evidence yesterday:

    Mr Moran said he first learned of a plan to approach 10 individuals on the evening of July 8th, 2008, when Willie McAteer said “the executives” had decided to approach 10 clients about the deal.

    The next day, Mr Moran said, he and Anglo’s head of compliance, Fiachre O’Neill, met Mr McAteer in his office. The terms of the deal were discussed and it was mentioned that the 10 investors would be lent money by Anglo with 25 per cent personal recourse.

    Mr Moran said that later that day Mr Drumm came to his office and said that he had spoken to the financial regulator about the deal before giving a “thumbs up” gesture.

    Mr Moran said he was himself a shareholder in Anglo, Bank of Ireland and AIB.   He said it was his own decision to buy the Anglo shares but that on one occasion he was “strongly encouraged” to purchase them as a sign of confidence for the markets In the summer of 2007 he sold all his bank shares except for Anglo’s. He said he had been requested not to sell the Anglo shares by Mr Drumm.

  • 11:27

    Proceedings began at 10.45am with discussion of a legal issue that arose at the end of yesterday’s proceedings.

    This is being discussed between Judge Martin Nolan and the barristers in the absence of the jury. The court is packed again today with more people in here than we’ve seen since last week. There are around a dozen people standing in the back, including members of the public and some lawyers unconnected with the trial.

    Sean FitzPatrick has had his hair cut and this morning is wearing a white and purple striped tie with a dark blue suit. Willie McAteer is wearing a grey suit and his usual tie, light blue with a pink pattern through it while Pat Whelan is wearing a dark blue suit and light blue shirt, open at the neck.

    The jury have been told that the trial will not proceed in evidence before 11.40 this morning.

  • 12:29

    The trial finally began in evidence for the day at 11.45am after an hour or so of legal discussions.

    Paul O’Higgins SC, for the prosecution, began by telling the court that Fiachre O’Neill would now be called as a witness in the case. Yesterday the court heard he was not being called as a witness.

    Continuing in his direct evidence, Matt Moran, former Chief Financial Officer of the bank, said that Pat Whelan told him that a side letter altering the recourse of the Maple loans would not be sent out.

    He said he went into Mr Whelan’s office with Fiachre O’Neill to raise his concerns about a side letter being sent out which would alter the loan agreements.

    He said: “I thought a side letter in this case was inappropriate. There is no other party involved — there is no need for a side letter.

    “If the recourse element was not to be in place because of the side letter that would be inappropriate. I was told the side letter would take away the 25 per cent recourse element.”

    He said he went into Mr Whelan and asked him: “Why would you do that?”

    “He responded that we sometimes and often do send out side letters. I said, not for this type of instance. Mr Whelan said it wouldn’t be done and he gave me assurance of that,” said Mr Moran.

  • 14:03

    Mr Moran has told the jury he had a conversation with Sean FitzPatrick either in the week or fortnight following the weekend of the Maple Transaction.

    He said: “Sometime after Sean visited my office, he asked me about the transaction. He asked, as if talking out loud, ‘I wonder was that the right transaction to do’, specifically in respect of the recourse to the ten borrowers.

    “He made a comment, he regretted he had not become more personally involved in this issue than he had done.

    “He questioned if 25 pc was enough”.

    Following this evidence another legal issue arose which had to be discussed in the absence of the jury. The jury have been told to return at 2.10pm.

  • 14:47
  • 15:26
    The trial has adjourned for the day. Cross examination of Matt Moran will begin tomorrow. A full report of today's proceedings will be on the site shortly.