Lawyer tells court Quinn should avoid jail01/11/2012 - 14:46:51
Bankrupt billionaire Sean Quinn stood tall as a leading light of the Celtic Tiger until his dealings with the former Anglo Irish Bank, his lawyer has claimed.
The High Court in Dublin was told the former tycoon should be spared jail despite its ruling that he failed to comply with court orders to overturn a multimillion-euro asset-stripping plot.
Eugene Grant QC said Mr Quinn has had the punitive element of the contempt of court conviction hanging over him for four months and wanted it dealt with, but made a passionate appeal for his freedom.
“It is important to stress he is 66 years of age with a totally clear and unblemished record,” he said.
“A man who, until these affairs with Anglo, stood tall as a leading light in the Celtic Tiger.”
Ms Justice Dunne is considering if Mr Quinn has done enough to comply with court orders to stay out of jail.
Mr Grant argued while his client sanctioned a strategy to transfer 500m euro of assets beyond the reach of Anglo, he played no role its implementation and has no power to regain control over the property empire.
He said Mr Quinn, who has appealing against the contempt ruling to the Supreme Court and also taking a civil case against Anglo for an alleged loan for shares deal, was a self made man who created wealth in deprived areas, but become a man bereft of economic and financial dignity after the collapse of the bank and his Quinn Group.
Describing his client as forlorn and broken, Mr Grant said Mr Quinn was committed to purging his contempt and had co-operated with the rogue lender since the judge’s court orders were made.
He appealed for the client, who sat at the back of the court with supporters, to remain free to assist Anglo recoup the assets from the family’s international property group (IPG).
However lawyers for Anglo, rebranded as Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), told the court they were concerned moves were continuing to put assets beyond their control.
Shane Murphy, SC, said the bank has continued to encounter fraudulent activity and delay orchestrated by the defendants to prevent it recovering assets in Quinn companies in Russia, Ukraine and India.
He revealed the bank had lost control of the most valuable asset in the IPG, the Kutuzoff Tower in Moscow, last month and was concerned steps were being taken to ensure it was sold as a distressed asset to a party.
Legal action is on-going in ten different jurisdictions, while the IBRC wants to enter a joint venture with a Russian-based asset recovery firm to regain assets, Mr Murphy said.
Elsewhere talks between the Quinns and IBRC in recent weeks had broke down and were wholly inadequate, he added.
But he told the judge any punitive element was a decision for the court.
Mr Quinn’s son, Sean Quinn Jnr, was freed from jail two weeks ago after serving three months for contempt, while his cousin Peter Darragh Quinn remains at large since his sentence was imposed in July and did not appear in court.
Ms Justice Dunne said she will decide on the punitive of Mr Quinn Senior's contempt case tomorrow morning.
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