Anglo loan move 'topsy turvy', says prosecution

Willie McAteer

The prosecution has described the circumstances surrounding an allegedly illegal loan for shares deal at Anglo Irish Bank as "topsy turvy".

Former Anglo executives Willie McAteer, Sean FitzPatrick and Pat Whelan deny charges of providing unlawful financial assistance for the purchase of Anglo shares in July 2008.

The prosecution has to show the €600m Anglo Irish Bank lent to the so-called 'Maple Ten' and the family of the now bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn to buy the bank's shares was not issued in the ordinary course of its business.

To prove a breach of company law took place, it also has to prove that the three former Anglo executives on trial authorised or permitted the allegedly illegal loans.

It is their case that Pat Whelan was fully involved in the Maple plan, Willie McAteer was "up to his neck in it" and the bank's then Chairman Sean FitzPatrick was aware of the lending and did not stop it.

In his closing address to the jury, prosecution counsel Paul O'Higgins has claimed the loans were unusual because they were issued without credit committee approval - not for the benefit of the borrowers, but to benefit the bank.

He said: "Everything was topsy turvy and made to make it look like it was being done properly, but fundamentally he says the lending was unlawful."

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