Tuesday 25 April 2017

Bid by Anglo to jail Sean Quinn, his son and nephew for contempt of court is adjourned

THE High Court has adjourned the contempt of court application against Seán Quinn, his son Seán Quinn Junior and his nephew Peter Quinn until March 22.

Anglo Irish Bank, now known as the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), alleges the men breached court orders not to interfere with the family's €500m international property portfolio which fell under the bank's control last year.



The move is the most serious escalation to date in the long-running battle between the IBRC and the Quinn family.



The bank argued that the contempt hearing should take place as soon as possible but the Quinn family legal team said they needed time to prepared their response.



Mr Justice Frank Clarke said that the hearing was a serious and urgent matter, but he was giving time until March 22 for the Quinn family to prepare their case.



The battle involves some 25 properties in seven different countries including Ireland, Russia and the Ukraine.



Papers were served on the men's Dublin lawyers last week after the IBRC got permission from Judge Clarke to bring the contempt motion.



The IBRC has claimed that that the Quinns, or companies and individuals connected to them, facilitated the transfer of assets -- including several landmark properties in Eastern Europe -- into the control of mysterious offshore companies in Belize and the British Virgin Islands.



The contempt of court move comes after the IBRC lost part of a key case in the Ukraine that could thwart its efforts to seize a $78m (€59m) shopping centre in Kiev, which was part of the Quinn Group.



It also comes as the bank is battling to prevent the $180m (€136m) Kutuzoff Tower in Moscow -- the jewel in the Quinn's crown -- from falling under the control of a Belize-based company or new, unknown creditors who appeared in a court in Moscow last week.



The IBRC previously claimed that the Kutuzoff Tower was sold by Sean Quinn's five children to their cousin Peter for €1,000.



If the bank's motion succeeds, the three men could be jailed until they purge their contempt. This could also involve action to reverse or undo the alleged asset transfers.

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