Brazilian court paves way for extradition of Michael Lynn

Latest effort by fugitive ex-solicitor, who fled Ireland with €80m debts, to delay return is rejected

Brazil's supreme court has paved the way for the extradition of fugitive former solicitor Michael Lynn back to Ireland after it rejected the latest efforts by his defence to delay the move.

A panel of the court's judges in Brasília on Tuesday rejected an appeal by Mr Lynn's legal team to be allowed seek clarification of previous rulings by the court in the case. A previous appeal for clarification when granted held up the extradition by one year.

"I really hope this will be the final decision by the court because there are no other avenues for appeal left," said the Irish State's lawyer, Antenor Pereira Madruga Filho.

The decision comes a year and nine months after the court first authorised the extradition of Mr Lynn and over three years after his arrest in the northeastern city of Recife.


The court’s decision will now have to be published in its official journal. That could take a number of weeks and once published the case will be turned over to Brazil’s foreign ministry which will coordinate Mr Lynn’s handover with the Irish authorities in a process that is be expected to take about two months from publication.

The effort to extradite Mr Lynn back to Ireland has become a victim of the massive backlog at Brazil’s top court which receives about 50,000 cases each year.

From Crossmolina, Co Mayo, Mr Lynn fled Ireland in October 2007 with debts of €80 million and faces 33 charges prepared by the Director of Public Prosecutions related to the collapse of his property business.

For the extradition to proceed the Irish state has agreed to drop many of the charges and just focus on those relating to alleged theft, a condition set by the Brazilian court. The state has also agreed that if convicted in Ireland Mr Lynn will be entitled to deduct his time spent in prison in Brazil from any eventual custodial sentence imposed by the Irish courts.

Tom Hennigan

Tom Hennigan

Tom Hennigan is a contributor to The Irish Times based in South America