Quinn jnr 'involved in payment'
The former Anglo Irish Bank has argued it is "utterly fanciful" to suggest a chain of events does not prove Seán Quinn jnr was involved in a €500,000 payment to a Ukrainian woman as part of an asset-stripping plan, in contempt of court orders.
There were about 30 pieces of circumstantial evidence to support the finding Mr Quinn had participated in the payment on foot of which he was jailed last July, said Paul Gallagher SC, for the bank, now Irish Bank Resolution Corporation.
Counsel was responding to concerns expressed by several Supreme Court judges today that there appeared to be no direct evidence to link Quinn to the payment made to Larissa Puga, general director of Quinn Properties Ukraine, on the eve of the takeover of that company by the bank in August 2011.
In reply to Mr Justice Nial Fennelly, Mr Gallagher said it appeared there was no direct evidence to prove Quinn participated in the making of the payment. He argued there was much circumstantial evidence, including the findings by the High Court that Mr Quinn had told lies about the purpose of a meeting with Ms Puga in Kiev at which, the bank claims, the payment was approved.
Other matters included the forgery of Ms Puga's labour contract and the fact Mr Quinn had admitted the family had a scheme to place assets beyond the bank's reach, he said.
Given all the evidence, including that Quinn travelled to Kiev with his cousin Peter Quinn to meet Ms Puga, how could it be said the purpose was not to make the payment, counsel asked.
Mr Justice Donal O'Donnell said a secret video recording of a meeting in Kiev in January 2012 appeared to show Ms Puga was not co-operating with the Quinns. He also noted that, while the Quinns had admitted an asset-stripping scheme, they continued to vehemently deny any involvement in the payment to Ms Puga.
Perhaps it was possible the purpose of the Kiev meeting in August 2011 was to discuss the wider conspiracy to strip assets from the Quinns' Ukrainian company, Univermag, the judge suggested.
Mr Gallagher maintained all the events and "common sense" supported the High Court finding Seán Quinn jnr was involved in the payment to Ms Puga. He also argued the High Court judges' findings implicitly followed the necessary procedures for the jailing of a person for contempt.
The High Court jailed Quinn for contempt of orders of June and July 2011 restraining stripping of assets from the Quinn's international property group, and he has appealed both the contempt finding and the jailing order to the five-judge Supreme Court.
Today is the fourth day of the appeal, which is expected to conclude later with judgment reserved.