Northern Ireland

Ex-billionaire Sean Quinn awaits jail ruling

Sean Quinn
Image caption Sean Quinn has been found guilty of contempt of court in Dublin

The bankrupt former billionaire, Sean Quinn, will find out later on Friday if he will be jailed.

Quinn, his son Sean Jr and nephew Peter Darragh Quinn were found in contempt of court for putting assets beyond the reach of the former Anglo-Irish Bank.

Judge Elizabeth Dunne told Dublin's High Court on Tuesday their behaviour was deceitful and blatantly dishonest.

She said they had taken every step possible to frustrate the bank.

And she warned them that given the seriousness of the contempt case, it would be difficult to persuade her against enforcing action with "a punitive element as well as coercive".

All three were found to have defied a High Court order over the family's international property portfolio.

The former Anglo Irish Bank, now the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), had wanted to take the properties to help settle Mr Quinn's debts of almost £2bn.

The judge said the three men had taken every step possible to frustrate the IBRC as it tried to recover nearly 500m euros of assets in Russia and Ukraine.

Lawyers for the two sides have been meeting since Tuesday's ruling to discuss how the IBRC might get its money back.

Depending on the judge's view of these negotiations, the three men will find out on Friday whether they will be jailed.

The two sides have been fighting each other in courts around the world as the IBRC tries to reclaim money it claims the Irish taxpayer is owed.

The Quinns are suing the IBRC in a separate legal action for 2.3m euros, claiming the bank acted illegally in lending the family money to protect the former Anglo-Irish Bank's collapsing share price.

This case has yet to go to a full hearing.

More on this story