Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Bankrupt Quinn given two more weeks

Sean Quinn has been spared jail after the High Court in Dublin adjourned his contempt of court hearing

Bankrupt billionaire Sean Quinn has been given another two weeks to unravel a multimillion-euro asset stripping plot before he faces jail.

The olive branch was extended to the former tycoon and his son as their new legal team was granted time to study the complex trail, which involved shifting parts of a valuable international property portfolio.

Within an hour of the High Court adjournment his son, Sean Quinn junior, walked free from the Four Courts hand in hand with his wife Karen after serving his three-month sentence for contempt of court.

But the threat of jail will linger over both men until Thursday November 1 when they must prove they have made steps to reverse the scheme and put assets back in control of the former Anglo Irish Bank.

Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne warned new evidence which claims the family also remained in control of several companies worldwide during the case were disturbing and a grave concern.

Eugene Grant QC, senior counsel for Quinn, said his 66-year-old client had undergone two serious heart operations and that his liberty was at risk. He maintained Quinn had signed almost all paperwork from the bank in recent weeks, and that both men had made contact regarding mediation.

"I'm instructed that he wants to co-operate and purge his contempt," Mr Grant said. But barristers for Anglo, rebranded Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), had told the court the pair had made no effort to purge their contempt and reinstate assets for the now State-owned lender.

Paul Gallagher SC, for the IBRC, said: "As far as Sean Quinn senior is concerned, no steps have been taken on foot of that order and nothing has been done in reinstating the property that has been taken from the various companies."

He added that Quinn junior lost an appeal in the Supreme Court against his conviction for contempt and sentence, while his cousin, Peter Darragh Quinn - who is not being represented by the new legal team - is still out of the jurisdiction.

Well-wishers who filled the courtroom, including faces from the 5,000-strong rally in Quinn's hometown of Ballyconnell last Sunday, shook hands with family members after the hearing.

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz