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Quinn contempt case to run four times longer than expected

THE Dublin contempt of court action kicking off against Sean Quinn and two of his family members this morning is now expected to run for eight days -- far longer than the two-day stint that had been expected.

It was unclear why the court time has been extended by so much, but sources stressed that the case was complex and a number of parties -- including the Quinns -- are expected to give evidence.

Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (formerly Anglo Irish Bank) is claiming that Mr Quinn, his son Sean Quinn Jnr and his nephew Peter Quinn breached court orders by "interfering with" a €500m international property empire.

If found guilty, the trio could be jailed until they 'purge their contempt' by overturning transfers of value that IBRC alleges are in breach of court orders granted last year.

The Quinns are set to defend the allegations, which include claims that the Quinns breached court orders by facilitating the transfer of more than €100m of value away from the property portfolio in favour of mysterious offshore companies in Belize and the British Virgin Islands.

The bank has been trying to establish the beneficial ownership of these foreign companies for several months.

The clash before Mr Justice Hugh Kennedy is just one of three cases involving the Quinns and IBRC that will be heard in Ireland this month -- almost a year after the bank seized control of the Quinn Group conglomerate and other major assets held by the family.

The High Court last week reserved judgments on Sean Quinn Snr's bid to be allowed to represent himself in upcoming proceedings between his family and the bank over IBRC's entitlement to enforce security it held over €2.8bn of loans.

The ownership of the Belize and British Virgin Islands companies will feature in a case in the Belfast courts at the end of the month. Litigation is also ongoing in the Ukraine and Russia.

Irish Independent