There is “no reason” why the surrender of an Irishman to Lithuania to face prosecution for alleged terrorism offences and the trafficking of weapons to Ireland should be refused, the High Court has heard.
Liam Campbell (54) was arrested in Upper Faughart, Dundalk Co Louth on December 2, 2016 on foot of a European Arrest Warrant issued by Lithuanian authorities.
The arrest warrant for Mr Campbell stated that he had allegedly organised the preparation for the smuggling of the weapons in support of the “terrorist grouping” the Real IRA (RIRA) between the end of 2006 and the beginning of 2007.
“While acting in an organised group he made arrangements for illegal possession of a considerable amount of powerful firearms, ammunition, explosive devices and substances,” according to the warrant which was endorsed by the High Court in Dublin last November.
Opening an application for surrender today, counsel for the Minister for Justice, Mr Ronan Kennedy BL, told Ms Justice Aileen Donnelly that “subject to the points that Mr Farrell raises there is no reason why the court should refuse surrender under the various provisions.” The respondent faces a maximum sentence of twenty years imprisonment if surrendered.
Opposing the application for Mr Campbell’s surrender today, his barrister, Mr Remy Farrell SC, said that if his client was surrendered he would face a significant period of pre-trial detention. “It would undoubtedly be the case that a pre-trial investigation would be required.
There is a complete distinction in Lithuania between an investigation and a trial,” he said.
Referring to the possibility of a trial he said:”We are in the realms of an event that may nor may not happen.”
Counsel further submitted that if there was to be a trial there would be an issue as to whether Mr Campbell would receive a fair trial, particularly having regard to the issue of translation.
The hearing, which is expected to last three days, will resume tomorrow. Mr Campbell was remanded on continuing bail
With many thanks to: Irish Republican Prisoner News.