Luckily we have Dallas Nua to meet our soap-opera needs until the start of October 2012 when the Quinn saga is set to return to the courts. The next instalments will be filled with cliffhangers – will Sean Quinn junior purge his contempt or will he remain in the ‘Joy, will he be joined by Sean Quinn senior, what seasonal fashion will Sean junior’s wife Karen Woods sport -courtesy perhaps of the €320,000 salary she was paid by a Russian company last year – whilst sashaying from the SUV to the gates of Mountjoy on her weekly visits, on the other side of the Border will Peter Darragh Quinn continue to pretend there is not a warrant for his arrest unfulfilled, will there be more demonstrations, will political parties be riven asunder with competing attitudes, might the Quinns win their case against Anglo that loans advanced to them are unenforceable, will there be new covert video recordings. Actually Dallas Nua has nothing on the Quinn saga.
It will be 2nd October when the Quinns are next scheduled to be in court in Dublin, though that doesn’t rule out intervening hearings, should the need arise. However on the other side of the Border today, a judge in Belfast’s High Court has accused a company in the Quinn saga of a “serious misuse” of High Court processes. The case concerns loans secured on the Univermag shopping centre in Kiev, Ukraine, loans which had been owned by a Quinn company but which were transferred to a British Virgin Islands-registered Lyndhurst Developments. Anglo (or IBRC as it is now known after the merger with INBS) has successfully overturned that transfer earlier this year with a view to Anglo taking over the loan.
Lyndhurst had been trying to appeal this decision but today, Judge McCloskey rejected permission to appeal, on the grounds that Lyndhurst had in fact transferred its interest in the loan to two Ukrainian companies, called Zenith and Elegant Invest, last December 2011. In proceedings earlier this year, Lyndhurst did not even disclose the transfer, which if it had, would probably have rendered it ineligible to contest the proceedings.
It remains unclear if IBRC will not need to re-apply to the courts to have the transfer from Lyndhurst to Zenith and Elegant Invest reversed.
In the proceedings this year in Belfast, it was Judge McCloskey (again) who accused the Quinns and others of being involved in a transfers of assets, transfers he said “smacks irresistibly of an orchestrated, elaborate and illicit charade”. Today Judge McCloskey said “with each passing phase of this litigation, the correctness of this finding is vindicated and fortified”
There was criticism by the Quinns and those associated with them during the summer that the judicial system in (the Republic of) Ireland was in some way biased, this despite the fact that it was two judges, Judge Peter Kelly and Judge Elizabeth Dunne who had both used extraordinary language in findings against the Quinns. However it seems that very similar language has been used in judgments by at least two judges in Belfast where Sean Quinn’s bankruptcy was overturned and where IBRC has been seeking to reverse transactions. The criticism by Quinns of the judiciary looks thin set against such a varied base.