Ex-Anglo Irish Chairman Pleads Not Guilty in Loans Trial

Former Anglo Irish Bank Corp. Chairman Sean Fitzpatrick pleaded not guilty to charges of breaching company law by allegedly hiding from auditors personal loans drawn from the now-defunct lender.

Fitzpatrick, 66, said he wasn’t guilty of 27 charges read out in the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on Tuesday. He failed between 2002 and 2007 to disclose to the bank’s auditors transactions that temporarily lowered his borrowings by as much as 119.8 million euros ($127.8 million), according to prosecutors.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring told the 12 jurors picked on Tuesday in Dublin that the trial is expected to run for about five weeks, starting on April 20. She directed potential jurors to step aside if they had expressed views in social media on Anglo Irish, the nation’s banking crisis “or bankers in general such that it might embarrass themselves.”

“You stay away from Twitter, you stay away from social media that has anything to do with this trial,” Judge Ring told the jury.

Investors in Anglo Irish or any of the nation’s other lenders should also not serve, she said.

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