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FitzPatrick trial is adjourned
29 Aug 2015 16:04
The High Court has ruled that the trial of former Anglo Irish Bank Chairman Sean FitzPatrick, which was due to start in October, should not take place until May 2016.
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Mr Justice Michael Moriarty said due to recent publicity the trial should be deferred until next year.
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The judge dismissed an application by Mr FitzPatrick to have the trial permanently stayed.
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In his judgment, Mr Justice Moriarty ruled that the press coverage of Mr FitzPatrick fell into a different category. He said this had to be considered along with the recent coverage of the trial of three Anglo officials.
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The judge referred to "recent reportage of events at the return of the guilty verdicts and the subsequent sentencing hearing after an overnight remand in custody" of the three Anglo officials whose trial concluded last July.
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He said as a casual observer it engendered in him "immediate feelings as a member of the public who had read the press coverage, feeling that were not favourable to Mr FitzPatrick".
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He said the fact of Mr Fitzpatrick's trial listed so soon after the conviction of the three other Anglo officials, one of whom was described as "a foot soldier", represented the unhappy succession of events and one not in accord with the effective "fade factor" sequence accorded to other defendants within what may be termed the Anglo Irish Bank ambit.
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He said all of the factors rendered him of the belief that the requirements of justice necessitated a deferral.
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"Of course it does not mean that all antipathy to the applicant will have subsided when the trial re starts but I believe some particular elements will have subsided by then," the judge said.
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