Michael Lynn cites his children in bid to block extradition

Fugitive former solicitor says his children’s births should allow him to remain in Brazil

Police handout image of Michael Lynn in Brazil. Photograph: Federal Police of Brazil Police handout image of Michael Lynn in Brazil. Photograph: Federal Police of Brazil

Police handout image of Michael Lynn in Brazil. Photograph: Federal Police of Brazil Police handout image of Michael Lynn in Brazil. Photograph: Federal Police of Brazil

 

The extradition of Michael Lynn has been delayed again after the fugitive former solicitor asked Brazil’s supreme court to block his return to Ireland because his four children were born in the country.

In a petition, Mr Lynn argued that as this constitutes a family he should be allowed to remain in the South American country.

Mr Lynn was arrested in the northeastern city of Recife in August 2013 and has been held in a remand prison there ever since.

In a court filing last week Marco Aurélio Mello, the supreme-court justice handling Mr Lynn’s case, asked the Irish Government to offer a position on Mr Lynn’s petition.

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

In accepting the petition the judge cited a case in which a foreigner argued against his expulsion – as opposed to extradition – as he had a child born in Brazil. He also mentioned the suspension of the extradition of an Argentinian who had two children after his detention on foot of an arrest warrant from Argentina.

Legal sources said that according to Brazil’s foreigners statute, passed in 1980, the adoption or recognition of a Brazilian child born after the date an alleged crime was committed does not impede expulsion from the country.

The Irish State’s lawyer handling the case, Antenor Pereira Madruga Filho, said he expected the petition “to delay further but not block eventual extradition”.

Legal backlog

The effort to extradite Mr Lynn has been caught up in an enormous backlog at Brazil’s top court, which receives about 50,000 cases a year, including all extradition requests.

The latest delay is a further frustration for Dublin, given that it comes more than two and a half years after the supreme court first authorised Mr Lynn’s extradition.

It also follows the court’s rejection last September of a request from the defence team to seek further clarification of its ruling. A previous request for clarification held up the process for a year.

For the extradition to proceed the Irish State has agreed to drop many of the charges and focus on those relating to alleged theft.

The State has also agreed that, if convicted in Ireland, Mr Lynn will be entitled to deduct the time he has spent in prison in Brazil from any custodial sentence imposed.