Sean FitzPatrick calls today 'a wonderful day for me' after acquittal

Former Anglo Irish Bank chairman, Sean FitzPatrick has said his prosecution for allegedly misleading the bank's auditors about millions of euro in loans was a difficult time for him and his family.

Mr FitzPatrick was speaking outside the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin city after a judge said that he intends to direct the jury tomorrow to acquit him of all charges.

Judge John Aylmer said that the investigation into the alleged refinancing of loans at the bank's year end dates between 2002 and 2007 was flawed by witness coaching and contamination of witness statements.

Speaking after the ruling the former bank executive said: "I want to say it was a very long and tiring and difficult time for my family, myself but thankfully today the trial is over.

"As you can appreciate it's a wonderful day for me and my family."

He paid tribute to his legal team and also said he appreciated the media's restraint during the current trial, adding: "I would hope that my privacy and that of my family is respected in the coming days."

The trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court was a retrial after the first trial in May 2015 ended following weeks of legal argument over the flaws in the ODCE investigation.

Mr FitzPatrick was charged in December 2012 after being arrested at the Bridewell Garda Station.

He was brought before Dublin District Court where fraud squad Detective Inspector Raymond Kavanagh told the court that Mr FitzPatrick said "no comment" in reply to 12 charges of knowingly or recklessly making false, misleading or deceptive statements to Anglo's auditors from 2002 to 2007.

This morning Mr FitzPatrick looked initially taken aback when Judge Aylmer made it clear at the start of a lengthy ruling, that he intended to direct an acquittal. Judge Aylmer said it would give rise to further unfairness if he didn't inform the defendant immediately.

He said he was making his ruling because of real concerns that the defendant was being denied his constitutional right to a fair trial.

Mr FitzPatrick broke into a smile as the decision sunk in and his daughter Sarah, who was present during much of the trial process, broke into tears.

After Judge Aylmer finished his ruling and rose, Ms FitzPatrick stepped into the dock and cried while she and her father embraced.

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