Quinns to be examined in court, judge rules
The children and other family members of jailed businessman Seán Quinn will be cross-examined at the Commercial Court next month to establish if they have disclosed full details of their bank accounts and assets.
Mr Justice Peter Kelly yesterday granted an application by Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, formerly Anglo Irish Bank, to cross-examine the five children and three of their spouses as part of its efforts to protect assets in the Quinns’ international property group.
The bank has alleged the Quinn defendants have conspired to strip assets from the property group.
The bank brought the application after saying it did not believe the Quinns had made full disclosure of their accounts and assets in affidavits sworn by them. The Quinns insisted they had disclosed all the material available to them. In his judgment, Mr Justice Kelly said he was satisfied the cross-examination was necessary “to fill the vacuum”.
He directed cross-examination on January 24th and 25th of Seán Quinn jnr, his sisters Aoife, Ciara, Brenda and Colette; his wife Karen Woods and brothers-in-law Stephen Kelly and Niall McPartland.
They will be cross-examined about information in affidavits sworn by them, including additional information in more recent affidavits.
The judge said the cross-examination orders had been resisted on every conceivable ground and criticised by the Quinns as amounting to a fishing expedition or roving cross-examination. Disagreeing, he said this was a focused and specific cross-examination and would not be permitted to become a trawl through material to be determined at trial.
He rejected arguments by the Quinns that a number of disclosed documents referring to activities in Russia were within the control of the Russian courts. He dismissed other arguments that the court should not order cross-examination of all of them unless a specific shortcoming or query in relation to the disclosure made could be identified in each individual case.
There was no allegation of contempt of court and the cause of action being relied upon here was conspiracy, he said. “By its nature conspiracy is furtive and shadowy. That is indeed the sort of conduct which has already been found against a number of defendants,” the judge said.