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fugitive

Runaway solicitor Michael Lynn arrested in Brazil

A warrant for his arrest was issued five years ago after the solicitor fled the country, leaving behind debts of over €80 million.

Updated 22.52

JUSTICE MINISTER Alan Shatter has indicated that the process by which Brazil – which Ireland has no formal extradition treaty with – agreed to arrest the solicitor Michael Lynn is one of “reciprocity” between the two countries.

The Minister was responding to news today that Lynn has been arrested by authorities in Brazil five years after fleeing Ireland and leaving behind debts of over €80 million.

In a statement this evening Shatter said he had been very concerned that the State was not in a position to pursue serious criminal charges “against an individual who had moved to Brazil”.

He said: “I have consistently made it clear that it is not acceptable that persons should seek to be immune from the consequences of their actions through evading court proceedings which they face in this jurisdiction.”

The Minister said he directed his Department to make arrangements to allow for the extraditions of persons from Brazil to face charges here with the result that the two countries are now to begin negotiations on a bilateral extradition treaty.

“Importantly, it has also been agreed that, pending the conclusion of the extradition treaty, the two countries would treat extradition requests from each other on the basis of reciprocity,” he said.

High Court warrant

As a result Lynn is now facing extradition proceedings but Shatter added that it would not be appropriate to comment any further now or if Lynn is extradited to Ireland to face charges.

Lynn was struck off the solicitors’ register in 2007, after the Law Society found that he had used money belonging to clients to fund his lifestyle and raised €80 million by securing multiple mortgages on the same properties.

Lynn failed to appear at the High Court in Dublin and a warrant was issued for his arrest but the fugitive solicitor moved through a number of European countries before heading to Brazil where he was granted permanent residency in 2011.

It is believed that the authorities here are seeking his extradition to Ireland and that an agreement was recently struck between the two countries. In an earlier statement today the Department of Justice said it does not comment on individual cases.

However, it said it should be noted that Ireland and Brazil agreed to commence negotiations on a bilateral extradition treaty.

“They have also agreed that, pending the conclusion of the extradition treaty, they would treat each other’s requests for extradition on the basis of reciprocity,” it added.

- additional reporting from Hugh O’Connell

First published 1.20pm

Related: Michael Lynn could be extradited over alleged fraud>

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