Majority direction for Anglo jury

The jury in a fraud trial of three Anglo Irish Bank directors over a multimillion loans-for-shares scheme has been told it can return majority verdicts.

Sean FitzPatrick, 65, from Greystones, Co Wicklow, Pat Whelan, 51, of Malahide, Co Dublin, and William McAteer, 63, of Rathgar, Dublin, all pleaded not guilty to providing unlawful financial assistance to a hand-picked group of clients in July 2008 to buy shares.

After failing to reach unanimous verdicts after about 11 and a half hours deliberation over three days, Judge Martin Nolan told the jury of seven women and five men it could return a majority verdict.

“At this stage I’m going to tell you that you can bring in a verdict or verdicts on which 10 of you agree,” he said.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court has been told the €619m loans-for-shares plot was concocted to stabilise Anglo’s share price as it tanked on markets.

The stock had originally been bought up in secret trades by industrialist and now-bankrupt Sean Quinn in a €2.4bn doomed gamble on the bank.

It is alleged money was lent to a select group of Anglo clients known as the Maple 10 and members of the Quinn family to buy up the holding.

The jury has been given access to transcripts of evidence from two bankers given immunity in the case, former Anglo directors Matt Moran and Fiachre O’Neill during deliberation.

The 12 jurors – selected by ballot from a panel of 14 – were charged by the judge on Friday afternoon and formally began deliberations on Monday.

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