'Hitman' in Lying Eyes trial facing extradition
Published 26/03/2011 | 05:00
A MAN jailed in connection with the 'Lying Eyes' murder plot is facing extradition to the US over charges of extortion and threats to kill.
Egyptian-born Essam Eid (55) was sentenced to six years in November 2008 for demanding €100,000 from the son of millionaire businessman PJ Howard in exchange for not carrying out a contract to kill him, his brother and their father.
Co-accused Sharon Collins,of Kildysart Road, Ennis, Co Clare, was jailed for six years for soliciting a hit man to kill her partner PJ Howard and the other men.
The trial heard that she used the online name 'lyingeyes' to contact a website called Hitmanforhire.com, while Eid was described as 'Tony Luciano' -- the man behind the website.
Collins's millionaire lifestyle and her plans to get her hands on her lover's money fell apart when her would-be assassin tried to blackmail his target.
The High Court heard yesterday morning that Eid is wanted by authorities in the US to face other charges. These relate to conspiracy to extort money from a woman and intent to extort money with a threat to kill. Eid, dressed in a dark suit with a mulberry tie and wearing glasses, was arrested by extradition gardai at the High Court shortly before the brief hearing.
Sergeant Sean Fallon told Mr Justice Gareth Sheehan that, when asked if he knew the reason for the issuing of an extradition warrant against him, Eid replied: "No comment".
Asked if he on occasion went by the alias 'Tony Luciano', Sgt Fallon told the court that Eid responded "So they say".
Eid was remanded in custody at Cloverhill Prison and will reappear before the court next Wednesday.
During the 'Lying Eyes' trial, the jury heard how Collins searched the internet for information on inheritance and the rights of co-habitants.
A partly written email Collins penned to a radio show, which was later recovered on a computer stolen from Mr Howard's workplace and dumped, was also read out in court.
In it, Collins said her life with her partner -- who she claimed tried to force her into lewd sex acts with him and others -- was unbearable.
Collins is currently awaiting the outcome of an appeal.