Drumm waives right to fight extradition request

Friday 12 February 2016 07.39
David Drumm has been in prison for four months and has been refused bail twice
David Drumm has been in prison for four months and has been refused bail twice

David Drumm has ended his fight against extradition and is to return to Ireland to face Anglo Irish Bank-related charges.

The former Anglo Irish Bank CEO told a court in Boston he no longer wished to waive his right to challenge the extradition request from the Government to face the 33 charges.

A US Magistrate Judge has now signed off on his extradition, and once it is certified by the US State Department, Mr Drumm will be escorted back to Ireland.

The 49-year-old former banker was arrested at his home in Wellesley, Massachusetts last October and has been held in prison in the US ever since, as he sought to fight the extradition.

It is expected to take a number of weeks to complete the legal process before Mr Drumm returns to Ireland.

His lawyers asked the court that he be allowed to complete his family's Green Card application process first.

He will remain in the custody of the US Marshals until the process is complete and members of An Garda Síochána arrive in the US to escort him back to Ireland.

Mr Drumm arrived into the courtroom accompanied by US Marshals wearing green coloured prison attire and cuffed at the wrists and ankles.

Unlike previous appearances when the courtroom has been filled with his family and dozens of supporters, none of those were present.

Judge Donald Cabell asked Mr Drumm a number of questions to ensure that he realised the  meaning of waiving his right to challenge the hearing, and there would now be no examination to determine whether there was probable cause that he had committed the offences he is charged with.

Mr Drumm said he understood and agreed, in accordance with the details of an affidavit which he had provided to the court.

In the affidavit Mr Drumm said he consented to a finding that probable cause existed that he had committed the offences as charged, but said he was doing so because such a finding was necessary for the extradition to continue, but notes that he has and will continue to contest the charges.

In court the Judge also asked him if he understood by waiving his right to that extradition probable cause hearing, which had been scheduled for 1 March, he was hastening his extradition.

Mr Drumm said he did.

Judge Cabell also asked both sets of lawyers if they were happy that there was an extradition treaty between Ireland and the US, and that the offences he is accused of constitute extraditable offences, to which they both agreed.

Judge Cabell said he was satisfied Mr Drumm understood the impact of waiving his rights and was prepared for results. 

He said he was prepared to endorse the extradition warrant and signed it in court.

He has since also signed a certificate of extraditability which now allows Mr Drumm's case to go forward to the US State Department for further certification.

A legal process will take place now that could take some weeks to complete before Mr Drumm arrives in Ireland.

The court also heard that Mr Drumm, his wife and daughters are currently applying for a green card and have received an appointment time to attend the US Immigration service’s facility in Boston to provide their biometric details - eye scan, fingerprints and signature.

Mr Drumm's lawyers asked the court's permission to keep the case open and delay the extradition, if necessary, until he has attended at the immigration facility so that application can continue.

Judge Cabell said he would keep the case open until Mr Drumm had left the country.

The hearing, already postponed from Monday following snowstorms in Boston, was initially delayed for over half an hour as Mr Drumm's lawyer Daniel Fetterman and the Assistant US Attorney Sarah Walters held a conference in the Judge's chamber.

David Drumm faces 33 charges in Ireland relating to his time in charge at Anglo Irish Bank.

Of those charges, 31 relate to the so-called Maple Ten transactions where ten individuals were each loaned €45 million to secure Anglo's tumbling share price and two other charges relate to the back-to-back transactions between Anglo and Irish Life and Permanent designed to bolster the bank's books.

The offences fall into six categories including charges relating to forgery and falsifying documents, conspiracy to defraud, giving unlawful financial assistance for share-purchasing purposes, false accounting practices, and the disclosure of false or misleading information to the stock exchange in a management report.

The charges carry prison sentences ranging from a maximum of five years in prison, up to an unlimited term of imprisonment.

A family member told RTÉ News that Mr Drumm was anxious to return to Ireland so he could begin mounting a defence against those 33 charges and try to prove his innocence rather than spending several years challenging the extradition in the US.

Mr Drumm feels that he cannot begin to clear his name while still in the US.

Mr Drumm intends vigorously defending the charges in Ireland, and has outlined some defences in previously filed court documents and court hearings, namely that he was acting under the regulator's so-called 'Green Jersey Agenda' at the time.

Mr Drumm has previously questioned the timing of his extradition request and subsequent arrest so near to the General Election.