No more havens from justice - Extradition of solicitor from Brazil

SOLICITOR Michael Lynn may have heard of the phrase ‘you can run but you can’t hide’. If not, he understands it now, following the decision by the supreme court of Brazil to allow the extradition of the fugitive solicitor to Ireland.

Lynn has been evading the Irish legal system for over eight years but is now likely to face trial for allegedly defrauding money from clients and banks.

Lynn was struck off the solicitors register in 2008, after the Law Society found he had used clients’ money and raised €80m by securing multiple mortgages on the same properties.

The Brazilian decision has taken many people by surprise, not least Lynn himself. That is because there is no formal bilateral extradition agreement between Ireland and Brazil.

He and his wife had a Brazilian-born child and were granted permanent residency in the country in 2011.

For decades Brazil, along with Argentina, was the haven for fugitives from justice. South America was where fleeing Nazis went. It was where Ronald Biggs went after the 1963 Great Train Robbery and his escape from prison in the UK.

Perhaps international jurisprudence is finally catching up with global economic trends. We now have a globalised economy in which billions are transacted daily all over the world. So why not a globalised legal system?

It looks like the day of safe havens for fugitives from justice has finally come to and end.


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