Quinn contempt decision due next Tuesday
THE BANKRUPT former billionaire Seán Quinn, his son Seán and his nephew Peter Darragh Quinn are to be told next Tuesday by Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne whether she has decided they have acted in contempt of an order of the High Court.
The reserved judgment arises from a case taken in the last legal term in which the court heard accusations from the State-owned Irish Bank Resolution Corporation that the three men continued to seek to put certain assets beyond the reach of the bank after an order to desist in any such efforts had been made in June of last year by Mr Justice Frank Clarke. The three men denied the charges made by the bank.
The contempt hearing is one of a series of cases before the courts here and in other jurisdictions arising out of the bank’s efforts to seize an international property portfolio worth about €500 million and over which it has security.
The Quinn family is disputing the legality of debts worth almost €3 billion that the bank says it is owed. A hearing on that issue is pending. Members of the Quinn family have admitted taking steps to put assets over which the bank had security beyond its reach but said they stopped once Mr Justice Clarke issued his order.
Today Mr Justice Peter Kelly is due to hear a resumption of the argument made successfully last week by the bank that Mr Quinn’s five children, two sons-in-law and his nephew Peter Darragh Quinn should be prevented from reducing their assets below certain thresholds. Interim orders to this effect were granted last week.
On Thursday it is expected the bank will tell the courts it believes a request for a ruling from the European Court of Justice, sought by Mr Justice Clarke, as to whether an issue before the courts should be tried here or in Cyprus, should now be withdrawn as the Cypriot injunction that forms part of the issue has since been lifted.