Quinn says case for jailing him not proven
THE FORMER Anglo Irish Bank has failed to tell the Supreme Court exactly what Seán Quinn jnr is being held in prison for and has conceded there was “no direct evidence” to support a finding of contempt against him, his lawyer argued yesterday.
While just one finding of contempt was made against Quinn, he was made subject to jail for not reversing an entire asset-stripping scheme, Bill Shipsey SC said.
Paul Gallagher SC, for the bank, contended “a chain of events” and 30 pieces of circumstantial evidence supported the High Court’s “common sense” finding Quinn participated in a $500,000 payment on foot of which he was found in contempt.
The High Court was also entitled under its contempt and inherent jurisdiction to jail him after finding he had not complied with 30 coercive orders to reverse asset-stripping measures on grounds including he was part of the Quinns’ general asset-stripping conspiracy, counsel said.
This was an “exceptional” case unlikely to be replicated and the courts must uphold constitutional values, especially the administration of justice, he urged.
The five-judge Supreme Court reserved to an unspecified date its judgment on Quinn’s appeal against being jailed on July 20th after its finding of contempt and that he had not complied with 30 coercive orders to unwind measures to strip up to $430 million assets from the Quinn family’s international property group.
Quinn, who attended all four days of the appeal, returned to Mountjoy Prison yesterday.
Last June, Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne ruled he was in contempt of court orders of June and July 2011 restraining stripping of assets on the basis of his participation in a $500,000 payment to Larissa Puga, general director of Quinn Properties Ukraine, on the eve of that company’s takeover by the bank in August 2011.
The judge later made 30 coercive orders aimed at unwinding asset-stripping measures and, after finding Quinn, his father and cousin Peter failed to comply with those, jailed Quinn and Peter Quinn but did not jail Seán Quinn snr so he could take steps to achieve compliance. The matter is due for review on October 19th.
Peter Quinn did not attend court on July 20th and a warrant for his arrest remains unexecuted while he lives in Northern Ireland.
All three Quinns said they could not reverse the asset stripping on grounds including matters had passed out of their control.