Seán Quinn Jnr to travel to Russia over bank accounts

Wednesday 19 December 2012 13.20
The bank has accepted Seán Quinn Jnr's offer to sell his home
The bank has accepted Seán Quinn Jnr's offer to sell his home

Seán Quinn Jnr is to travel to Moscow to get statements concerning bank accounts held there by himself and other family members, the High Court has heard.

Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne welcomed that development and also welcomed news that Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, formerly Anglo Irish Bank, was accepting Mr Quinn Jnr's offer to sell his Dublin home.

Those were "two positive developments" in the efforts by Mr Quinn to purge his contempt of court orders, she said.

The judge was told by Shane Murphy SC, for IBRC, the bank had decided to accept the offer by Mr Quinn to sell the home he shares with his wife, Karen Woods.

Matters had to be addressed in that regard, whether via a charge or otherwise, counsel said.

The bank was also consenting to Mr Quinn's offer to go to Ocean Bank in Moscow and get statements from that bank concerning accounts held by Mr Quinn and other family members there.

The court was previously told Ocean Bank would not release statements unless an account holder appeared in person.

Issues related to the funding of the Moscow trip are to be discussed later between the sides in circumstances where a freezing order on Mr Quinn's accounts remains in being.

Mr Murphy said the bank considered it was not necessary for a bank representative to travel with Mr Quinn and it was the bank's position he should pay the costs of the trip.

It seemed Mr Quinn has access to a third party contribution to his legal costs, which was not from a company in the Quinns international property group (IPG), counsel added.

Martin Hayden SC, for Mr Quinn, said the monies referred to by Mr Murphy were not owed directly to IBRC.

The judge said the trip was a useful and positive development and the costs issue should be addressed between the sides.

It was not a matter for the court, she added.

Given the developments, Mr Murphy, with the consent of Mr Hayden, sought and secured an adjournment of the proceedings to 25 January next.

Mr Quinn Jnr was jailed last July for three months for contempt of court orders of June and July 2011 restraining stripping of assets from the IPG after Ms Justice Dunne found he was involved in a €500,000 payment made in late August 2011 to Larissa Puga, general director of QPU.

Mr Quinn Jnr's cousin, Peter Darragh Quinn, was also jailed for three months, but has not served that sentence and he remains at his home in Northern Ireland.

Mr Quinn Jnr's father, former billionaire Seán Quinn Snr, remains in prison for contempt.

The contempt proceedings were brought in the context of an action by IBRC against members of the Quinn family and several companies aimed at protecting more than €430m assets in the IPG.

Last week, the judge was told Mr Quinn is prepared to sell his home at Alder Lodge, Farmleigh Woods, Castleknock, Co Dublin, and give his half share of the proceeds of the sale to Quinn Properties Ukraine, a company within the family's IPG.

He was prepared to have the sale monies lodged in court, he indicated.

The bank sought time to assess the offer and other matters in a letter from Arthur McLean Solicitors, solicitors for the Quinns.

Due to court orders restraining Mr Quinn and his wife disposing of assets, they require court permission to sell the property.

In their letter, the solicitors said the couple wanted the court to defer the marketing and sale of the property until September 2013 to allow them some months "to regularise their lives together" as they had just married earlier this year and shortly afterwards Mr Quinn Jnr was jailed.

The letter stated the Alder Lodge property is the only asset of Mr Quinn's likely to achieve a value of $500,000, the sum paid to Ms Puga which had led to his imprisonment.

The letter also outlined the Quinns viewed the entitlement of IBRC to that money as "questionable" as IBRC had only a 15% stake, owned principally by relatives and neighbours of the Quinns.

Proceedings are under way in Ukraine in which IBRC is seeking reimbursement of the money, the letter added.

Notwithstanding that, the solicitors said Mr Quinn Jnr wanted to take whatever steps were open to him to purge his contempt and intended, with his wife's consent, selling their home.