Quinn jnr freed pending new High Court hearing
SEÁN QUINN jnr has been freed from jail pending a High Court hearing to decide if he has complied with court orders aimed at stopping the stripping of multimillion euro assets from the Quinn family’s international property group (IPG).
Mr Quinn, who was jailed on July 20th last, could face a further period of detention and his father could also be jailed over the asset-stripping in light of material put before Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne yesterday, about which she voiced “grave concerns”.
Of most concern was what had happened since July 20th, and she wanted to review matters urgently, as what she had heard was “disturbing” and “most sinister”, the judge said. She would adjourn the review to November 1st only and not for four weeks as sought by the Quinns.
She made the comments after Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, formerly Anglo Irish Bank, argued “nothing” had been done by Seán Quinn snr to reverse the asset-stripping measures, and the bank had obtained new material showing a “deeply disturbing” picture, including that the Quinns gave “totally false” and “misleading” evidence in the contempt proceedings against them.
The new material showed the “cynicism” of the Quinns and their deliberate violation of court orders, senior counsel Paul Gallagher, for IBRC, said. The Quinns “are still not disclosing what they have done” and actions were continuing to be taken that could lead to assets being “lost irretrievably”.
Things were happening, the bank only found out afterwards and then it found the legal landscape had changed, he said. The bank’s concerns, the court heard, were heightened by the lifting by Ukrainian courts last week of a freezing order obtained over a $500,000 (€383,650) payment to Larissa Puga in Ukraine, plus a recent bid to displace the bank as the main creditor in bankruptcy proceedings involving a Russian company holding the most valuable asset in the IPG, the Kutuzoff Tower in Moscow.
New lawyers representing Seán Quinn snr and his son said they needed time to take full instructions and to consider the potential for mediation of the issues between the sides.
They were instructed that Mr Quinn snr had been co-operating with the bank, Mr Quinn was 66 years old, had had two serious heart operations and this was about “his liberty”, counsel Eugene Grant said.
Seán Quinn jnr was in court yesterday because the judge had indicated, when she made orders jailing him and his cousin Peter Darragh Quinn last July, that she would review matters in three months to assess compliance by the Quinns with some 30 coercive orders aimed at reversing asset-stripping.
At the July 20th hearing, the judge said she would not jail Seán Quinn snr then because she wanted him to be free to reverse the asset-stripping scheme. Because Peter Darragh Quinn did not attend court, she issued a warrant for his arrest, which remains unexecuted as he remains in Northern Ireland. He did not attend court yesterday either and was not represented.
Yesterday, Mr Grant, for the Quinns, who said he was instructed just last Tuesday, asked the judge what was to happen to Seán Quinn jnr as the order jailing him had expired at midnight.