Fugitive solicitor Michael Lynn facing imminent extradition from Brazil

Brazil's Foreign Ministry will now negotiate his transfer to Dublin

Fugitive solicitor Michael Lynn facing imminent extradition from Brazil

Michael Lynn | File photo

Fugitive Michael Lynn's extradition from Brazil to Ireland is finally imminent after his appeals were exhausted and his case was passed to the country's Federal Police.

Brazil's Foreign Ministry will now negotiate the logistics of his 4,500-mile transfer from Pernambuco to Dublin with Irish authorities. It could happen within weeks.

Brazil's Supreme Court first ruled the solicitor should be extradited in December 2014.

But a series of five delaying tactics by Lynn's lawyers drew out the legal process, even as he remained in a dirty jail cell he said was making him ill.

Now, judge Marco Aurélio has ruled the process over and finally sent the case to the Federal Police, Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Foreign Relations.

His ruling was made on November 30th and published by the court this week.

Brazil's Supreme Court does not accept appeals.

But three times, Lynn's lawyers sought "clarification" of the ruling, once brought a point of order, and then sought an internal grievance against that decision.

"The issues raised were thoroughly examined at the time of the trial of the previous incidents," Judge Aurélio wrote, dismissing the final appeal.

He called the repeated delaying tactics "an abandonment of the organic nature of law."

Each time it caused a delay as there is a huge backlog at Brazil's highest court, which deals with 50,000 cases a year. But there was little doubt about the eventual decision. The court has never overturned its own ruling on an extradition.

Fled from justice

The decision comes nearly 10 years after Lynn first fled from justice and more than four since he was arrested in his beach hideout near the northeastern city of Recife.

Brazil's Ministry of Justice can overrule the court, but has previously indicated it will intend abide by the decision.

Lynn faces 33 charges at Dublin's High Court relating to an alleged €80m mortgage fraud, although some will be dropped as part of the extradition deal.

The more serious charges, of theft, were crucial to his extradition and will remain.

Lynn first failed to attend a hearing at the High Court in Dublin in 2007.

At the time he fled, he had debts of €80 million and his company was said to have 148 properties, 154 bank accounts and assets worth more than €50m.

In Brazil, he lived openly in a villa near a beach while teaching English to the locals, joined a country club and dabbled in the property market.

But his comfortable new life came to an end in August 2013 when Brazilian federal police, acting on behalf of Interpol, swooped at a shopping centre near his home.

There is no extradition treaty between the two countries, a bilateral agreement was struck so Lynn could be extradited.

Cotel Prison

The disgraced businessman has now spent 51 months fighting extradition in the Cotel Prison with convicted murderers and rapists.

The prison, in the grim industrial outskirts of Recife, has a capacity of 700 but has up to 2,400 inmates held there.

His wife Bríd Murphy has stayed in Brazil and given birth to four children, now aged six, four, two and one.

The younger two were conceived after Lynn was in prison.

Before his arrest, the young family lived in a villa with swimming pool, barbecue area and security system.

At one point, Judge Aurélio turned down a long-running campaign by the fugitive to be transferred to a private hospital after he said he may have tuberculosis.

Before his arrest, Lynn spent 13 hours a week teaching English at the Britanic Piedade school, where his native English skills and "humble charm" were valued.

He would also visit the nearby office of Quantum Consulting and Ventures, a €500,000 company he had registered in yet another shot at property riches.

Reporting by Matt Sandy in Rio de Janeiro