Saturday 18 November 2017

Supreme Court asks why Sean Quinn Jnr is complaining about being in jail

Dearbhail McDonald Legal Editor

THE Supreme Court has queried how the jailed son of bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn can complain about being in prison when he has not purged his contempt.

A five-judge court led by the Chief Justice Mrs Justice Susan Denham, has resumed hearing an appeal by Sean Quinn Jnr, who is serving a three-month jail sentence at Dublin’s Mountjoy Prison.

Mr Quinn Jnr was jailed last July for breaking court orders not to interfere with the family’s €500m international property group (IPG) and his lawyers claim it was wrong to subject him to the prospect of an indefinite spell in prison.

The High Court has kept his father out of jail to force Sean Quinn Snr to comply with orders to reverse asset transfers out of the IPG.

The Supreme Court noted that Mr Quinn Jnr has not yet purged his contempt, despite claims that he was being held in prison as “hostage for the chieftain”.

“How can he complain about being committed to prison?” asked Supreme Court Judge Mr Justice Donal O’Donnell.

Mr Quinn’s lawyers said that there was no precedent before the court to jail a defendant to force the hand of another.

The Supreme Court also heard that no contempt application had been moved against any other member of the Quinn family apart from the three who have already been found guilty of contempt of court.

Today the former Anglo Irish Bank will ask the Supreme Court to admit fresh material gleaned from a damaged computer in Russia to prove Mr Quinn Jnr was a “key player” – right up until the time he was jailed last July.

The IBRC (formerly Anglo) claims the family of Sean Quinn Snr stood to receive more than €250m in severance fees from Russian companies within their international property group (IPG).

The bank, which moves its case later today, has claimed in court papers that an email of July 25, 2011, copied to Sean Quinn Jnr by his brother-in-law Stephen Kelly had requested that Russian employment contract documents for members of the Quinn family be backdated.

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