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BREAKING NEWS: Sean Quinn spared jail

Published: 29 Jun 2012 14:500 comments

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FORMER Fermanagh businessman Sean Quinn has avoided jail for contempt of court.

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Mr. Quinn, his son Sean and nephew Peter Darragh Quinn have been ordered to unravel steps taken to put assets beyond the reach of the former Anglo Irish Bank.

According to the Irish Independent, Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne warned the trio they could face punitive sanctions if they do not obey, which include orders requiring them to disclose all their assets.

She told Dublin's High Court that the three men were involved in a conspiracy or plan to put assets beyond Anglo's reach and that was "impermissible".

The judge added how she would "not sit idly by and allow that take place and allow court orders be breached".

She made the rulings following her findings on Tuesday that the three engaged in a "complex, complicated and no doubt costly" series of steps designed to put assets beyond the reach of the bank in "a blatant, dishonest and deceitful manner".

Mr. Quinn's son, Sean Quinn Junior, and his nephew, Peter Quinn, were also found by the judge to have acted in contempt for putting assets beyond the reach of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC).

At Tuesday's hearing, Judge Elizabeth Dunne described the Quinn's behaviour as "deceitful and blatantly dishonest".

She told the former billionaire that it would be difficult to persuade her against taking action with a "punitive" element against him.

Sean Quinn, Sean Quinn Junior and Peter Quinn denied the charge but admitted taking steps in the Ukraine and Russia to put some of their property portfolio beyond IBRC's reach, prior to the 2011 court orders.

Justice Dunne said she was "not impressed" with the manner in which the three men gave evidence and described Sean Quinn as "evasive and uncooperative" and noted that on a number of occasions during the hearing rather than answer questions put to him, Mr. Quinn "embarked on lengthy criticisms of Anglo". She said it was "impossible to accept the evidence of Sean Quinn Senior that he had no hand, act or part in Quinn business after April 2011".

Justice Dunne went on to note that Mr. Quinn had described the Quinn Group businesses as being run in an "honourable, respectable way", adding: "I wish I could say the same about the manner in which the respondents have dealt with the adverse circumstances in which they now find themselves having regard to the collapse of the Quinn business empire".

The judge said Sean Quinn Junior did not give the truth in evidence and overall was not credible and said Peter Darragh Quinn's evidence was "evasive, uncooperative and, at times, untruthful".

She said he gave the impression that he would do anything to put assets beyond reach.

Afterwards, Sean Quinn told reporters: "I am not dishonest".

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