Day 11: Anglo Irish Bank Trial

Wednesday 19 February 2014 21.36
Pat Whelan, Willie McAteer and Seán FitzPatrick deny the charges
Pat Whelan, Willie McAteer and Seán FitzPatrick deny the charges

Key Points:

- Day 11 of the Anglo Irish Bank trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

- Former chairman Seán FitzPatrick and former executives Patrick Whelan and William McAteer have pleaded not guilty to providing unlawful financial assistance to 16 people to buy shares in the bank

- Mr Whelan has also denied seven charges of being privy to the fraudulent alteration of a loan facility letter

15.31 The jury were shown a letter sent to Willie McAteer from Mary Burke, head of banking supervision in the Financial Regulator, and dated 8 November, 2008.

In the letter Ms Burke wrote: "I refer to the legal opinion dated 22 July 2008 provided by Matheson Ormsby Prentice.

"With regard to the comment in the letter that Anglo "kept the Financial Regulator informed of the the transaction" I would point out that the Financial Regulator did not advise as to whether the transactions required approval nor was it in a position to do so given the information available to it."

Mr Moran said he believed the letter seemed to show that the Regulator was resiling from a position previously held by them.

In reference to a press release issued by the Quinn Group after the Maple Transaction, Ms Burke asks if Anglo believed the Quinn family were acting in concert.

She writes: "Matheson Ormsby Prentice states that it's unaware of any arrangements between the Quinn family shareholders in relation to acquisitions, voting or disposal of their shares. In view of the comments attributed to Sean Quinn does Anglo continue to believe that the Quinn family members are not acting in concert?"

The evidence in chief of Mr Moran ended shortly before 3pm.

Proceedings were adjourned until tomorrow after the defence teams asked for time to prepare their cross-examination.

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

He said: "Sometime after Seán 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% was enough."

The jury were told to return at 2.10pm.

12.30 The eleventh day of the Anglo Irish Bank trial began hearing evidence at 11.45am.

Paul O'Higgins SC, for the prosecution, began by saying 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 Ten loans would not be sent out.

He said he went into Mr Whelan's office with Mr 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% 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.