Saturday 16 December 2017

Michael Lynn faces months more in jail after bail bid fails

Michael Lynn and his wife Brid
Michael Lynn and his wife Brid

Matt Sandy in Rio de Janeiro

FORMER solicitor Michael Lynn has been denied bail in Brazil and now faces the prospect of months more in a hellhole prison while he fights extradition back to Ireland.

A judge at Brazil's Supreme Court this week dismissed his appeal to be freed, which centred on the claim that the Irish arrest warrant was not valid under Brazilian law.

He has now spent 175 days in the overcrowded Cotel prison with alleged murderers and rapists while the court decides his fate.

The prison, in the grim industrial outskirts of the city of Recife in the north-east of Brazil, has a capacity of 700 but there are believed to be 2,400 inmates being held there.

Lynn left Ireland in 2007 following controversy over his business dealings and settled in Brazil with his young family. But his comfortable new life came to an end last August when Brazilian federal police, acting on behalf of Interpol, swooped on the expat at a shopping centre near his home.

And in a decision handed down by Brazil's Supreme Court this week, Judge Marco Aurelio rejected his lawyers' attempts to free him while a decision on his case is made.

In his case to the court, Lynn's lawyers highlighted the "regularity" of his situation in Brazil, such as his "fixed residence, lawful work, and stable family life".


The bail application added: "He has lived outside Ireland for many years and, since 2008, has been at the disposal of the Irish authorities, without any intention to evade law enforcement."

But the judge rejected his application, which centred on the claim that Ireland's arrest warrant for him was not valid under Brazilian law, and ruled that he must stay in jail.

Brazil's Supreme Court is still considering Ireland's extradition request.

While there is no extradition treaty between the two countries, a temporary bilateral agreement was struck which means that Lynn can be extradited, even though he has had a child born in Brazil.

Supreme Court judge Marco Aurelio stated that a 2013 law had broadened the basis on which extradition requests could be made and that Irish officials had followed their standard extradition procedures.

Irish Independent

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