A new Belfast-based legal team asked the court for more time to prepare a defence for the bankrupt businessman.
Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne said it was up to the prison authorities to decide on Mr Quinn Jnr’s release time as it was not a matter for the court.
Sean Quinn Junior has lost his Supreme Court appeal by a four to one majority against a High Court‘s decision jailing him almost three months ago for contempt of orders restraining the stripping of multi-million property assets.
The majority Sureme Court ruled today that Quinn jnr was properly jailed for a three month period which is due to expire on Friday next.
It also indicated the former Anglo Irish Bank could reapply to the High Court to jail Mr Quinn for a longer period on foot of the finding he had acted in contempt of court orders via his involvement in the making of a US$500,000 payment to the general director of Quinn Properties Ukraine.
The majority court found, while the High Court was entitled to jail Mr Quin for three months on foot of the contemot finding in relaiton to the Puga payment, it was not entitled to make some 28 coercive orders against him restraining several other asset stripping measures. His layers had argued there was no evidence that Quinn Jnr was involved in the other measures.
The Chief Justice, Ms Justice Susan Denham, Mr Justice Nial Fennelly, Mr Justice Donal O’Donnell and Mr Justice Liam McKechnie constituted the majority court while Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman dissented and said he would have allowed Quinn jnr’s appeal in its entirety.
Quinn jnr was jailed on July 20th last by Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne following her findings he acted in contempt of court orders restraining stripping of up to $430m assets from the Quinn family’s international property group and also failed to reverse a series of asset-stripping steps.
The four day appeal hearing concluded last week and the matter was listed today for ruling in the Supreme Court. The court will give the full reasons for its decision in a written judgment later.
Lawyers for Quinn jnr applied to the Supreme Court yesterday for an order directing that he may attend court this morning for the ruling and he was in court today with his wife Karen Woods and sisters Colette and Aoife and brothers in law Niall McPartland and Stephen Kelly.
Irish Bank Resolution Corporation chief executive Mike Aynsley was also in court with Richard Woodhouse of IBRC, which is pursuing the Quinn family over loans totalling some €2.8bn.
During the appeal, Quinn jnr’s lawyers argued that IBRC, the former Anglo Irish Bank, had failed to outline exactly what he was being held in prison for and had conceded there was “no direct evidence” to support the finding of contempt against him.
The bank contended “a chain of events” and 30 pieces of circumstantial evidence supported the High Court’s “common sense” finding Mr Quinn participated in a US$500,000 payment on foot of which he was found in contempt.
Quinn jnr attended all four days of the appeal and returned to Mountjoy Prison last Wednesday when the appeal concluded.
Last June, Ms Justice Dunne ruled he was in contempt of court orders of June and July 2011 restraining stripping of assets on the basis of his participation in a US$500,000 payment to Larissa Puga, general director of Quinn Properties Ukraine, on the eve of that company’s takeover by the bank in August 2011.
The judge later made 30 coercive orders aimed at unwinding asset-stripping measures and, after finding Sean Quinn jnr, his father and cousin Peter failed to comply with those, jailed Quinn jnr and Peter Quinn but did not jail Sean Quinn snr so he could take steps to achieve compliance.
Peter Quinn did not attend court on July 20th and a warrant for his arrest remains unexecuted while he continues to live in Northern Ireland. All three Quinns said they could not reverse the asset stripping on grounds including matters had passed out of their control to Russian lawyers and others. The contept matter is due for review by Ms Justice Dunne on Friday.
The following evidence emerged from the high court yesterday.
Family members were to receive up to € 7. 5m each if injured or an assassination attempt happened whilst employed by the Russian Companies.
Employment contracts worth up to €36m each were signed.
In addition, substantial annual wages up to €560,000 each with a wide range of benefits
The above evidence was comes from the deliberately smashed computers in their Russian office.
The destruction of the computer happened just a day or so after the High Court made restraining orders against the Quins.
Other emails showed that Sean Quinn Jnr was still dealing with property management issues for these Russian companies, months after the Quinns told the High Court, they had lost control of those companies.
Counsel said the Quinns had given “utterly false” evidence in the High Court contempt proceedings about not being in control of the Russian compnies
Lawyers for IBRC said based on new evidence, it does not accept the Quinns had lost control of the companies as claimed in the High Court.
IBRC told the Supreme Court the evidence recovered from a computer hard drive in Russia shows Seán Quinn Jnr was aware of and played an active role in companies involved in removing assets beyond the reach of the bank.
IBRC claims the new documents show he was a key decision-maker, right up to the time he was jailed for contempt.
This contradicts Mr Quinn Jnr’s evidence to the High Court that his involvement with the companies had ended a year before.
The evidence emerged on the second day of a Supreme Court appeal by Mr Quinn Jnr against his jailing for contempt for failing to comply with orders to reverse an asset-stripping conspiracy in the Quinn’s International Property Group.
His lawyers say the decision by the High Court to jail him for contempt and his continued detention is legally wrong.
However, IBRC told the court today that Mr Quinn Jnr played a far more active role in the Quinn companies than he admits.
Mr Gallagher said Peter Darragh Quinn had carried out the asset-stripping scheme on behalf of all the Quinns.
Evidence retrieved from a damaged computer hard drive in Russia shows contracts were created allowing for multi-million euro payments to Quinn family members at a time when High Court injunctions were in place.
It is also claimed that efforts were made to back-date the contracts to make it appear they were generated before the High Court orders.
Mr Gallagher said this case was about the rule of law and the administration of justice. Fraudulent transactions had taken place, documents had been back-dated and bogus reports were produced, all designed to implement an asset-stripping scheme and the court was now being asked to ignore it.
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.
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 tree 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.