Michael Lynn’s lawyers to seek bail on Monday

Irishman who fled Ireland with €80 million debt was building a new house in Brazil

Company registration documents in Recife show Michael Lynn and his wife Bríd Murphy formed a property development company in 2011. Photograph: The Irish Times

Company registration documents in Recife show Michael Lynn and his wife Bríd Murphy formed a property development company in 2011. Photograph: The Irish Times

Fri, Sep 6, 2013, 19:16

Lawyers for the Irish solicitor Michael Lynn will make a bail application on Monday as they prepare his case against extradition to Ireland.

A judicial decision on bail could take three weeks. If it is rejected, he can be held for up to 90 days pending the conclusion of the extradition proceedings.

Mr Lynn, the solicitor and property developer who fled Ireland in 2007 with debts of €80 million, was arrested last week and is being held at a prison outside the city of Recife. One of his lawyers, Paulo César Maia Porto, said his client was in a special unit for university graduates and ex-policemen, where his accommodation consisted of a bed in a room with 30 other men.

“I don’t know how prisons are in Ireland, but it’s not like in the movies, where prisoners each have their own cell,” he said. “There are about 30 people in a shared space, but it’s better than the rest of the prison.”

Dr César had a two hour meeting with Mr Lynn this week, at which the 44-year-old made clear he intended to fight the attempt to have him sent back to Ireland to face 33 charges connected to his collapsed property empire. A date has not yet been set for his hearing, which, in line with all Brazilian extradition cases, will take place in closed session.

Dr César said the bail application, which will not require a court sitting, would stress that there was no reason to keep Mr Lynn in detention. “In cases like this, they usually keep people in prison to protect the process or protect society,” he said. “Mr Lynn is working here. There is no reason to keep him.”

Separately, The Irish Times has learned that Mr Lynn had in recent weeks been building a house for his family on the western outskirts of Recife, and had planned to give up his part-time job at the Britanic language school in six months. The family’s current home is a rented house in the suburb of Candeias.

Company registration documents in Recife show Mr Lynn and his wife Bríd Murphy formed a property development company in 2011 and that they gave their principal home address as a house in a wealthy suburb of Sao Paulo, Brazil’s commercial capital, which is some 2,600 km south of Recife.

The Lynn family are known to have been living in the northeastern state of Pernambuco for at least a year, and the couple secured permanent residence after the birth of their son here two years ago. Dr César has said that will be a significant argument in his case against extradition.

After a lengthy investigation into Mr Lynn’s business affairs by the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation, the Director of Public Prosecutions last year recommended that he be charged. That paved the way for the issuing of an international arrest warrant.

Ireland and Brazil do not have an extradition treaty, but a bilateral agreement has recently been put in place between the two states and the Irish authorities have acted under its terms to request Mr Lynn’s extradition.

Dr César has said the level of detail provided with the request was minimal, but he was consulting with British-based lawyers also acting for Mr Lynn.