Fugitive solicitor asks for Brazilian prison time guarantee

Michael Lynn ‘close to the end of a long extradition process’, court hears

The fugitive struck-off solicitor Michael Lynn wants the High Court to determine whether the Director of Public Prosecutions can guarantee that his time in a Brazilian prison will be taken into account should he be convicted of fraud in Ireland.

The court heard on Monday that Mr Lynn, who fled the Republic in 2007, allegedly leaving an estimated €80 million in debts, is "close to the end of a long extradition process" in Brazil. He is being held at Cotel remand prison, in Recife in northwest Brazil. He faces 33 charges relating to alleged mortgage fraud and has been imprisoned since 2013, when Brazilian federal police, acting on behalf of Interpol, arrested him.

On Monday Mr Justice Seamus Noonan allowed Mr Lynn's barrister, Michael O'Higgins SC, to seek judicial review of the Director of Public Prosecutions' offer to Brazil of a guarantee that Mr Lynn's time served in that country would be offset against any prison term he might get here if convicted.

The judge’s order is in place until Thursday, during which time the chief prosecution solicitor in the DPP’s office and the Chief State Solicitor’s Office are to be served with papers in the case.

Mr O’Higgins said the guarantee was provided as part of the extradition proceedings before the Brazilian supreme court. Under the country’s legal system, he said, the court presumes the veracity of what the state seeking extradition tells it, but in the Irish system the question of credit for time served in another jurisdiction is a matter for the trial judge.

The question for the High Court to consider is whether a person in an administrative position, such as the DPP, is entitled to give such a guarantee.