Senior judge queries Quinn bid03/10/2012 - 13:13:22
A senior judge has questioned why the son of bankrupt billionaire Sean Quinn should be freed from jail.
Lawyers for Sean Quinn Junior are challenging his three-month jail term in Mountjoy and his conviction for not complying with court orders preventing the stripping of a multi-million euro property portfolio.
Brian O’Moore, senior counsel, told the Supreme Court it was legally wrong to imprison him for one allegation of contempt, while his father remained free to recover assets for the former Anglo-Irish Bank despite being convicted of a range of more financially significant claims.
“The bank identified Sean Quinn Senior as the fulcrum of the entire operation,” he added.
But a senior judge made assertions over Mr Quinn Jnr’s contempt amid reports that the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), formerly Anglo, was preparing to introduce new evidence about the extent of asset stripping by the Quinns.
Mr Justice Donal O’Donnell said lawyers were claiming the 33-year-old was being held as a “hostage for the chief”.
“Here, Mr Quinn Jnr committed a contempt of court, he does not purge that contempt, does not remedy it,” said Mr Justice O’Donnell, sitting on the five judge bench.
“How can he complain about being committed to prison?”
It is expected lawyers for the IBRC will try to detail to the court this afternoon that Quinn Jnr tried to put assets beyond the bank right up until his detention.
Documents reportedly show he was to get €15m if his employment in two companies was terminated and his wife Karen €36m.
It is alleged his cousin Peter Darragh Quinn, on the run in Northern Ireland over a similar contempt conviction, was to get €26m and other relatives were also to receive pay-offs.
The bank maintains the documents were backdated in a bid to cover up asset stripping.
Quinn Jnr, who is on day release from from Mountjoy’s low security training centre, sat at the back of the courtroom with his wife and brothers-in-law Niall McPartland and Stephen Kelly.
He was sentenced along with his cousin Peter Darragh, son of former GAA President Peter Quinn, who remains at large.
His father, once Ireland’s richest man, was spared jail as the bank sought to use him to reverse the alleged asset stripping.
Sean Quinn Snr owes IBRC €2.8bn after running up unprecedented losses through secret stock investments in Anglo as its share price collapsed.
The Quinns admit that they owe €455m but have refused the claims on the rest and have taken a counter-case against the bank over a loans deals.
Counsel for the bank will later present new evidence that claims the Quinn family stood to receive more than €250m in severance fees from Russian companies within their now carved up international property group (IPG).
The contracts were signed weeks before the High Court issued orders, on June 27 2011, banning any interference by the Quinns with their €500m international property group.
Lawyers for Sean Quinn Jnr are not objecting to the admission of the new material.
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