One of the final barriers to the extradition of fugitive former solicitor Michael Lynn from Brazil to Ireland to face charges relating to the collapse of his property empire is expected to be overcome next week.
Brazil’s supreme court voted to allow his extradition in December of 2014 but this was delayed after Mr Lynn’s defence exercised his right to seek clarification of the extradition ruling in an effort to have it overturned.
On Tuesday, Marco Aurélio, the supreme court judge assigned to the case, is scheduled to provide details of its decision. If the other judges on the panel then vote to confirm his clarification, their ruling will then be published in the court’s official journal.
The case would then pass to Brazil’s foreign ministry which would coordinate Mr Lynn’s handover with the Irish authorities in a process that would be expected to take about two months.
Mr Lynn’s defence is apparently seeking to try and expose an error in the court’s original ruling in order to overturn it, according to the Brazilian legal team hired by the Irish state. His solicitors have not responded to requests for interviews.
Brazilian legal experts say there is almost no chance the court will overturn its original decision. In 76 extradition cases dating back to 1975, in which the defence sought clarification of a decision to extradite, not once was the original ruling overturned, according to a search of the court’s website.
The delay in providing clarification is blamed on a massive backlog at Brazil’s top court which receives about 50,000 cases each year. It is one of the only supreme courts in the world that must hear every individual extradition case and is swamped by appeals against lower court rulings on matters of no constitutional import such as habeas corpus cases.
Mr Lynn was arrested in Brazil in August 2013 and has been held since in a prison in the city of Recife while fighting efforts to return him to Ireland.
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 many of these will be dropped to focus just on those relating to alleged theft, a condition set by the Brazilian court.