Wednesday 18 September 2019

State 'was trying to nail innocent man' Lynn with 'bloodlust', court hears

Struck off: Michael Lynn is expected to be tried next year. Picture: Collins
Struck off: Michael Lynn is expected to be tried next year. Picture: Collins

Ruaidhrí Giblin

Letters sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions on behalf of struck-off solicitor Michael Lynn claimed the State was trying to "nail" an "innocent man" with "robust bloodlust", the Court of Appeal has heard.

Mr Lynn (50), of Carlton Square, Maynooth, Co Kildare, is due to stand trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court next year on 21 counts of stealing almost €30m from seven financial institutions. In two of the sample charges, Mr Lynn is accused of stealing €4.1m from Irish Nationwide on April 4, 2007 and €3.6m from Ulster Bank on October 20, 2006.

He left Ireland in 2007 but was extradited last year from Brazil where he had spent four-and-a-half years in jail on remand.

Brazilian authorities sought assurances that any time Mr Lynn spent in prison awaiting extradition would be deducted from any potential prison sentence here, and he would not serve more than 30 years in prison here if found guilty.

His lawyers challenged those assurances in the Irish High Court, arguing they could not have been given. But their arguments were rejected, and the case came before the Court of Appeal yesterday where judgment was reserved.

Counsel for Mr Lynn, Padraig Dwyer SC, told the court a favourable outcome of the appeal might strengthen Mr Lynn's attempts to prohibit his upcoming trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

He said his client's "beef" was with assertions made by the DPP to the Brazilian authorities that the four-and-a-half years Mr Lynn spent in Brazilian jail would be taken into account by the Irish courts, if found guilty.

Mr Dwyer submitted the DPP was giving assurances on the basis of what is expected to happen, rather than the law.

While Mr Lynn was "languishing" in a Brazilian jail, Mr Dwyer said multiple letters were sent on his behalf to the DPP asking how these assertions could be made.

President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice George Birmingham said some of the letters, from a former solicitor of Mr Lynn, were "intemperate in the extreme".

One told the DPP his client was an "innocent man" and the State was trying to "nail Mr Lynn" with "robust bloodlust".

It wasn't the sort of language one finds in correspondence from an officer of the court, Mr Justice Birmingham said.

Mr Dwyer indicated an application would be made for free legal aid.

Irish Independent

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