“It has been widely reported that the Irish justice authorities have taken steps to secure the extradition of David Drumm from the United States to Ireland in connection with ongoing criminal investigations. Mr Drumm has refused thus far to make himself available to the Irish authorities including to An Garda Síochána for questioning.
“Facilitating Mr Drumm’s ongoing refusal to cooperate with criminal investigations in Ireland by agreeing to a video link from the US goes against everything I stand for in public life and would, I believe, be a grave error by the Banking Inquiry.
“In the first instance, Mr Drumm should return to Ireland to cooperate with and support the criminal investigations underway. I also believe he should attend the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry in person in Leinster House as directed. Allowing Mr Drumm to give evidence to the Banking Inquiry on his terms from the US – while at the same time he refuses to cooperate with the Irish criminal justice system – should not be acceptable to a Committee of our National Parliament. As an elected representative, I am duty bound to stand behind and support the institutions of the State including all aspects our criminal justice system.
“I strongly expressed my opposition to the idea of a video link when it was discussed by the Committee last night and I will again when the issue is discussed next Tuesday. I have taken my own legal advice and I am advised that, by refusing to appear before the Committee in Leinster House next Wednesday as directed under the Act, Mr Drumm is in breach of the Direction Order issued to him under the Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Act 2013.
“The analogy that has been drawn with the unorthodox arrangements entered into with former ECB President Jean Claude Trichet are not relevant. There is a fundamental difference between the two scenarios. As a non-Irish citizen living outside the State, a Direction Order to appear before the Inquiry could not and was not issued to Mr Trichet. However, as an Irish citizen living abroad, a valid Direction Order under the Act was issued to Mr Drumm to attend before the Banking Inquiry. As far as I am concerned, that Direction Order should be honoured under the terms issued.
“I have also written to the Chairperson of the Banking Inquiry Committee requesting that the views of the DPP be urgently sought on the possible impact on forthcoming and possible future criminal trials of Mr Drumm giving verbal evidence to the Banking Inquiry in this way. If this engagement with Mr Drumm were to proceed, I am deeply concerned that comments made remotely from the United States could prejudice forthcoming criminal trials in Ireland. I will not support or play any part in such an exercise.”