DPP asks for Quinn case to be adjourned
The Director of Public Prosecutions will ask the Commercial Court today to adjourn the former Anglo Irish Bank’s long-running “conspiracy” case against bankrupt businessman Seán Quinn, members of his family and others until the criminal trial of former Anglo Chairman Seán Fitzpatrick and two of the bank’s former senior executives has concluded.
The bank’s action alleging a conspiracy by the Quinn defendants and others to strip assets valued at up to €455 million in the Quinn’s international property group was initiated in June 2011. The legal costs of it to date are conservatively estimated at well over €10 million.
The Quinns claim loans of about €54 million were made to IPG companies of which, they allege, only €9.2 million relates to companies involved in the conspiracy case. They claim the rest of the €445 million sum is not relevant to the conspiracy case.
A full hearing date for the conspiracy action has yet to be set but there have been more than 40 pre-trial applications in the courts here, including for orders freezing accounts of several family members and contempt proceedings resulting in the jailing of Seán Quinn and his son Seán Quinn jnr. The case has also led to applications in other courts worldwide, including Russia and Cyprus.
If the DPP’s application for an adjournment of the full conspiracy case is granted, various other pre-trial applications, including the cross-examination of the Quinn children, will still be heard.
Lawyers for the Quinns previously brought their own application to adjourn the conspiracy proceedings, a bid that was listed for hearing on February 28th next, but it will not proceed if the DPP’s application is granted.
When dealing with more pre-trial matters yesterday, Mr Justice Peter Kelly was told by Shane Murphy SC, for Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, that the trustee dealing with Seán Quinn’s bankruptcy has decided not to defend the conspiracy case on behalf of Mr Quinn’s creditors. In those circumstances, the bank intends to bring motions for judgment in default of defence against Mr Quinn and would be writing to him in that regard within 48 hours, counsel said.