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Friday 29 August 2014

Decision on rhino horn extradition due next week

Natasha Reid

Published 17/07/2013 | 11:38

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A MAN will find out next week if he will be extradited to Austria, where he is accused of stealing precious rhinoceros horns.

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John Quilligan (31), of Roches Road in Rathkeale, Co Limerick, is being sought by Austrian prosecutors investigating the theft of the horns, which are estimated to be worth €300,000 on the black market.

The High Court has heard that Austrian authorities ‘highly suspect’ Mr Quilligan, also known as John Ross, of being a member of an Irish criminal gang specialising in the theft of rhino horns.

A European Arrest Warrant was issued in Vienna in January for the surrender of Mr Quilligan. Authorities there are seeking his return in relation to four offences, including the aggravated professional theft and attempted theft of rhino horns.

Mr Quilligan is fighting extradition in the High Court here, arguing that there is no evidence that a decision has been made to charge him once he gets to Austria, something his lawyers claim is required by law.

The court was due to decide tomorrow whether to extradite Mr Quilligan.

However, Mr Justice John Edwards has adjourned giving his judgment until July 26.

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