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Extradition

Volume 12: debated on Monday 9 November 1981

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many suspected murderers, bombers, or perpetrators of any other terrorist crimes are now believed by the United Kingdom security forces to be living in the Republic of Ireland; how many applications have been made by the Royal Ulster Constabulary for the extradition of suspected terrorists; how many such applications have been successful; and what are the reasons given by courts in the Republic for the failure to extradite terrorists.

Although the police believe that some people whom they would like to interview in connection with terrorist crimes committed in the United Kingdom are now in the Republic, it cannot be said for certain where they all are.Since 1969, arrest warrants have been forwarded by the Royal Ulster Constabulary to the Garda Siochana in relation to 82 cases connected with terrorism. As a result one person has been extradited; the suspect was returned to Northern Ireland in 1976 and was subsequently convicted of arson. The Irish courts have refused extradition on 45 occasions. The reasons given for these refusals and the outcome of the remaining warrants have been as follows:

subject arrested in the Republic of Ireland but extradition refused:
(i) on the grounds that the offence was political34
(ii) on the grounds that no comparable offence existed within the Republic9
subject arrested in the Republic but habeas corpus granted2
Warrants refused45
Other warrants:
subject arrested in United Kingdom17
subject prosecuted and imprisoned in the Republic1
warrants later withdrawn by RUC12
warrants not yet executed6

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will publish full details of the persons and crimes for which extradition applications in the Republic of Ireland have failed.

Arrest warrants have been forwarded by the Royal Ulster Constabulary to the authorities in the Republic of Ireland in relation to a wide variety of offences. Details of the cases in which the Irish courts have refused extradition are only readily available in respect of terrorist-type offences. The 45 cases since 1969 relating to such offences for which extradition has been refused by the courts in the Republic have been in connection with the following alleged offences:

Main offence cited in warrantNumber refused
Murder5
Attempted murder1
Malicious wounding1
Possession of firearms and ammunition4
Possession of explosives10
Planting explosives2
Causing an explosion2
Armed robbery1
Arson and malicious damage2
Hijacking1
Escape from lawful custody15
Conspiracy1
It would not be appropriate to publish the names of those suspects whose return to Northern Ireland was sought in these warrants.