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Will David Drumm be extradited from the US to face charges in Ireland?

A request to US authorities has been reportedly made today.

Image: Graham Hughes/Photocall Ireland!

A FILE ON David Drumm was given to the Director of Public Prosecution by the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation and the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement in 2011.

For the past four years, the office has had to sit on that file, deliberating on whether charges could be brought and whether a request for extradition should be made.

Described as the ‘author’ of the Maple 10 loans at Anglo Irish Bank and the ‘absent prince’ at last year’s high-profile Anglo Irish Bank trial, the 48-year-old was investigated for his role in the collapse of the financial institution.

According to a report in the Irish Independent last summer, the DPP’s office finally told gardaí they could act on the file and charge Drumm with a number of offences.

There were reportedly efforts made to have the banker return to Ireland voluntarily but no such move came about.

Today, there are reports that the Justice Minister has now pressed the ‘go’ button and sent a request to US authorities, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and diplomatic channels, to extradite Drumm who has been living in Boston full-time since 2009.

The Justice Department told TheJournal.ie – and other media outlets today – it would not confirm if a request for extradition had been made in this case, stating that any comment “may only serve to alert the subject of the request”.

However, RTÉ News says it has learned that the process has started and that Ireland has told the US of the up to 30 charges it will lay against Drumm. The State has also shown authorities legal statements and court warrants, according to the broadcaster.

Will the request be followed?

Even if the request has been sent, there is no guarantee that Drumm will be touching down in Dublin any time soon.

There are two possible snags to extradition – one of them quite major.

Firstly, authorities will ask for proof that there will be charges brought immediately.

And, secondly, the US will only agree to extradition if the charges brought in Ireland are also seen as offences under American law. This presents a possible problem. Drumm’s ex-colleagues William McAteer and Pat Whelan were prosecuted under section 60 of the Companies Act 1963. This disallows firms from providing loans to customers to buy its own shares. There is no similar charge in the US.

During that trial of former Anglo directors one of their defence lawyers noted that the proceedings were like a “Hamlet without the prince”, referring to the number of times Drumm’s name was mentioned in relation to various allegations.

In his ruling, Judge Martin Nolan called the former CEO the “instigator and “author” of the illegal loan scheme which led to the trial in the first instance.

The ‘author’ had been in the States, however, trying to carve out a new life through the country’s lenient bankruptcy laws. His bid failed yesterday seven months after a trial into his behaviour and actions during the process. The American judge said he found Drumm “not remotely credible” and made a number of other damning statements.

The Justice Department’s statement from today – in full:

The decision to seek the extradition of a person charged with a criminal offence rests with the Director of Public Prosecutions and only arises where the Director has decided that a person should be prosecuted in the first instance.
The Director is independent in the exercise of her functions and the Minister, of course, has no function in deciding whether a person should be charged with an offence. The Minister for Justice and Equality is responsible for transmitting an outgoing request for
extradition to the appropriate authorities.
It is contrary to practice to make any comment on whether an extradition request has been received or issued as to do so may only serve to alert the subject of the request.

Catch up: The interesting bits you need to read from the David Drumm ruling

Full judgement: What the US judge ruled on former Anglo boss David Drumm

More: US court calls David Drumm on his “outright lies” as he fails in bankruptcy bid

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