THE GARDA COMMISSIONER Fachtna Murphy has said that gardaí are working jointly with the office of the director of corporate enforcement, Paul Appleby, to investigate allegations of financial irregularities at Anglo Irish Bank.
Murphy said he’s had meetings with Appleby twice this week and added: “there is a major investigation going on”.
The commissioner said that complaints about Anglo were received from February 2009 up to August 2010 and “we’re investigating all of those”.
“Arrests have been made, interviews have taken place,” Murphy said. He added that 400 statements have been taken, with some of them reaching 150 typed pages in length.
When asked if files would be sent to the DPP, Murphy said that Appleby has engaged senior counsel to advise them on the legal situation. He said “our job is to ensure a file goes to the DPP, and then it’s up to him to decide if charges will be brought”. He would not estimate when such files would be ready.
He also refused to comment on how many people were under investigation “because it’s a complex, wide-ranging investigation”, but he said ”anyone who committed a crime relating to the banking system” is considered part of the investigation.
Also speaking on the News at One, Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern said that 40 people are engaged full-time on what he regards as “the biggest and most complex investigation in the history of the state”.
He said that emails have been examined and statements taken from 350 people, “some with their lawyers sitting beside them”.
He said he was being careful about what he said because there have been instances previously where politicians’ comments resulted in people “getting off”.
Ahern said that outrage and anger over Anglo are “no good in a book of evidence” because the authorities need hard evidence, and the investigating team is working to produce a file for the DPP.