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State incompetence at fault for collapse of Seán Fitzpatrick trial - Doherty

23 May, 2017 - by Pearse Doherty TD

State incompetence at fault for collapse of Seán Fitzpatrick trial - Doherty

Sinn Fein Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty has said the State must develop proper infrastructure to tackle white collar crime.

Speaking after the collapse of the Seán Fitzpatrick trial today, Teachta Doherty said the State has never prioritised white collar crime instead preferring to go after welfare fraud.

Teachta Doherty said;

“I, like most citizens, am very disappointed that the jury won’t get a chance to deliver a verdict in this case. The litany of failings pointed to by the judge amount to a damning indictment of those who are supposed to be prosecuting cases of white collar crime in the State.

“Those bodies are simply not up to the task. The legislative framework is in need of an overhaul to bring it up to what is needed, for example reckless lending is still not a crime in this State. The culture and infrastructure needed to tackle white collar crime has never been developed in this State.

“The lack of resources in this area was highlighted by a senior barrister in 2014 when in highlighting the fact that there was only one forensic accountant working in the principal law enforcement regulatory authority he said ‘it’s enough to make the tin-pot dictator of a banana republic blush’.

“That is a damning indictment of the state from someone who specialises in white collar crime.

“It is clear that the state prioritises tackling welfare fraud over tackling white collar crime despite the fact that white collar crime is a far bigger issue and costs the state far more each year.

“As long as we continue to under resource and under prioritise this type of criminal activity cases will continue to be thrown out before they even get to a jury and that is if they even reach the courts.

“Almost a decade after the banking crash one of the few cases taken as a result has failed because of the State’s incompetence. The Irish people need and deserve a better system - one which actually takes white collar crime seriously.”

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