Saturday 17 March 2018

Gardaí believe Lynn may be sent back to Ireland in February

Michael Lynn and his wife Brid. Photo: Courtpix
Michael Lynn and his wife Brid. Photo: Courtpix

Ken Foy

GardaÍ expect that fugitive solicitor Michael Lynn may be extradited back to Ireland as early as next month.

Lynn (45) is wanted here on 33 charges related to mortgage fraud after he fled the country in October 2007 with debts of €80m.

In December 2014, Brazil's supreme court approved the Irish Government's request for his extradition, but no official date has yet been set. However, sources now say that gardaí believe it is imminent.

The supreme court judge assigned to the case has been due to provide the clarification requested before the extradition can go ahead and this is expected to happen within weeks.

"The expectation is that this will happen a number of weeks from now with the suggestion being that gardaí will travel to Brazil in February to escort him back to Ireland," a source said.

The father-of-three has been held in a prison in the Brazilian city of Recife while fighting efforts to return him since his arrest in August 2013. Mr Lynn's defence has petitioned the extradition court for clarification on several points, including the validity of the translation of the original arrest warrant and the question of reciprocity in the absence of an extradition treaty.

Originally from Crossmolina, Co Mayo, Mr Lynn used the birth of his son with his wife Brid to secure a permanent Brazilian visa in June 2012 because the child was born there.

Having practised on Dublin's Capel Street, Mr Lynn was struck off more than seven years ago and had a fine of €1m imposed on him.

While there is no extradition treaty between Brazil and Ireland, a temporary bilateral agreement was struck, meaning Mr Lynn can be extradited - and that if he is convicted and jailed here his time served in a Brazilian prison will be discounted.

Earlier this week, it emerged that the amount paid out in claims by the Law Society to compensate clients for solicitors who default rose 29pc to €3.67m in 2014.

The most high-profile case in recent years was that of Mr Lynn, who cost his fellow professionals €2.6m in compensation paid out.

Irish Independent

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