Lynn out on bail ahead of €30m theft trial in 2020

Irish Examiner - - News - Ruaidhrí Gi­b­lin

For­mer so­lic­i­tor Michael Lynn, who was ex­tra­dited from Brazil to face mul­ti­mil­lion-euro theft charges, has been granted bail on strict con­di­tions pend­ing trial in 2020.

Mr Lynn, aged 49, with a last ad­dress in St Al­ban’s Park, Sandy­mount, Dublin, is fac­ing 21 charges at Dublin Cir­cuit Crim­i­nal Court re­lat­ing to the al­leged theft of al­most €30m from seven fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions.

In one of the sam­ple charges be­fore the court, Mr Lynn is ac­cused of steal­ing €4.1m from Ir­ish Na­tion­wide on April 4, 2007.

In an­other sam­ple count, he is charged with steal­ing €3.6m from Ul­ster Bank on Oc­to­ber 20, 2006.

In March Mr Lynn was ex­tra­dited to Ire­land from Brazil, where he has been liv­ing for sev­eral years. He un­suc­cess­fully sought bail in the dis­trict court but was re­fused. He ap­pealed this to the High Court and was again re­fused bail by Ms Jus­tice Una Ni Raifeartaigh on April 6.

He suc­cess­fully ap­pealed the High Court’s de­ci­sion yes­ter­day and he was ac­cord­ingly granted bail by the Court of Ap­peal on a num­ber of strict con­di­tions.

Giv­ing judg­ment in the three-judge court, Mr Jus­tice John Hedi­gan said Mr Lynn will have been in pre­trial cus­tody for 22 months in Ire­land by the time of his trial date in Jan­uary 2020. Such a de­lay was “in­deed very dis­turb­ing” and it was a fac­tor the Court of Ap­peal had to take into ac­count.

In re­fus­ing bail, the High Court had held that Mr Lynn was a flight risk.

Coun­sel for Mr Lynn, Michael O’Hig­gins, said the risk was re­duced given the length of time his client had al­ready spent in cus­tody. He said his client had been in cus­tody since Au­gust 2013 in Brazil. By 2020, his con­tin­ued in­car­cer­a­tion would amount to a sen­tence of about eight years with stan­dard re­mis­sion.

As such, Mr O’Hig­gins said the bulk of any po­ten­tial sen­tence, if Mr Lynn is to be found guilty, would have al­ready been served.

Mr O’Hig­gins said Mr Lynn’s wife and chil­dren had moved back to Ire­land. The youngest daugh­ter was about the start school and “I un­der­stand the fam­ily dog was brought back from Brazil”.

More­over, there was now al­most nowhere Mr Lynn can flee to from where he could not be re­trieved and in­deed jailed again pend­ing such re­turn.

Mr O’Hig­gins said the “Ron­nie Biggs sce­nario” was no longer work­able.

Mr Jus­tice Hedi­gan said it was clear there was at least some risk that one who has fled be­fore will do so again.

How­ever, the sit­u­a­tion had al­tered “very con­sid­er­ably” and it ap­peared clear the risk was now a “very much di­min­ished one”.

Mr Jus­tice Hedi­gan said the Court of Ap­peal had to con­sider where the in­ter­ests of jus­tice lay and must pay full re­spect to the pre­sump­tion of in­no­cence.

He sa id stri ng e nt b ai l con­di­tions to­gether with closely mon­i­tored com­pli­ance would meet the much di­min­ished flight risk.

Mr Lynn was granted bail on an in­de­pen­dent surety of €100,000. He must sur­ren­der his pass­port and un­der­take not to ap­ply for a new one. The pass­port of his wife and chil­dren, if any, must also be handed in to court.

He must re­side at a given ad­dress in Maynooth, ob­serve a cur­few be­tween 9pm and 6am daily, carry a mo­bile phone and be avail­able to gar­daí on that phone 24 hours a day and stay away from all ports and air­ports.

Mr Jus­tice Alan Ma­hon, who sat with Mr Jus­tice John Ed­wards and Mr Jus­tice Hedi­gan, said the court would ad­mit Mr Lynn to bail on the ba­sis of those terms.

Michael Lynn: Ex­tra­dited from Brazil in March.

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