Sean FitzPatrick has been formally acquitted by a jury at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on all 27 counts against him.

Yesterday, Judge John Aylmer ruled that he would be directing the jurors to acquit Mr FitzPatrick, who had pleaded not guilty to misleading Anglo's auditors about loans to him and people connected with him.

The judge told the jurors he would forgive them if they had been reading newspapers or the internet about the case in these circumstances.

He said he had made a decision based on law that the prosecution had not established a sufficient case to go to a jury.

He said the thrust of his ruling was that the investigation fell short of the investigation an accused person was entitled to.

He said the upshot was that the prosecution had not proved the case to the standard required that would have allowed him to let the charges go to the jurors for them to decide the matter.

Before the jurors could formally acquit, they had to be reduced in number from 13 to 12.

An enlarged panel of 15 had been sworn in to hear the case because of its length and complexity and Judge Aylmer said it was quite extraordinary that 13 still remained.

One juror's name was drawn from a biscuit tin and she had to leave court.

The jury forewoman signed the issue paper on which the court registrar had written "not guilty by direction of the judge" next to all the charges.

Judge Aylmer excused the jurors from jury service for life.

The judge thanked the jurors for their attendance and for giving eight months of their life to this trial.

He said he expected that some of them would be disappointed at the way it had panned out but he said a trial could not proceed without a jury and they were an essential part of the process.


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Senior Prosecuting Counsel Dominic McGinn said there were still six outstanding counts against Mr FitzPatrick which had been separated from the others. But he said the DPP would not be proceeding with those charges.

Judge Aylmer told Mr FitzPatrick the prosecution had confirmed there was nothing else against him and he told him he was free to go.