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Noonan: Banking prosecutors are being cautious because they don't want to blow the case

The Minister for Finance also said the Anglo tapes were “appalling”.

Michael Noonan on The Week in Politics
Michael Noonan on The Week in Politics
Image: Screengrab via RTE

MINISTER FOR FINANCE Michael Noonan has defended the slow pace of criminal proceedings against bankers who carried out crimes during the economic boom.

In an interview broadcast on RTE’s The Week in Politics this afternoon, Michael Noonan said he expects to see three bankers appearing before the courts in the first half of next year.

“It’s very complex, very intricate, and the prosecuting authorities are fearful that if they move too quickly or imprudently that they’ll blow the case, so they must be cautious,” he said.

The Minister repeatedly said that he did not want to prejudge any court case and reiterated that the government has not interfered or attempted to speed up the cases in order to preserve the separation of powers.

“The guards have done their job. Evidence has been accumulated. People have been charged,” Noonan said

When asked about the Anglo tapes – which interviewer Seán O’Rourke described as ‘national sabotage’ – Noonan described the conversations between senior executives at the bank as ‘appalling’.

“It was recordings that were made over four years ago so we’re revisiting the past, but there has been a general distaste of bank culture right across Europe, and indeed the world,” Noonan said.

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David Drumm, the former CEO of Anglo, has apologised for the bad language and ‘frivolous tone’ of the Anglo tapes, saying that he was under a lot of pressure at the time.

In an inteview, Boston-based Drumm turned on the media for suggesting that senior Anglo executives misrepresented the bank’s financial situation in order to ensure that it was bailed out by the State.

Excerpts published by the Sunday Independent today feature Drumm describing how he wanted to punch then-Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan at the time of the bank guarantee.

Read: Michael Noonan on the Anglo tapes: ‘We could have done without them’ >

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