Driver who caused deaths of two children in Hungary can serve sentence here
Published 01/04/2013 | 16:38
AN Irishman who was involved in a fatal road crash in Hungary 13 years ago will be allowed to serve his sentence in Ireland.
Ciaran Tobin is wanted in Hungary to serve a jail sentence for negligent driving causing the death of two children.
However, the Hungarian authorities have now indicated that he can serve the sentence here - if he first surrenders himself to the authorities in Hungary.
It is unclear if Mr Tobin would have to serve some of the sentence in Hungary before being returned to Ireland.
Late last year, the Irish Government conceded that Mr Tobin would not be extradited.
Mr Tobin had been set free by the Supreme Court in Dublin last November after he won an appeal against a second bid by the State to extradite him to Hungary.
He had been in custody since November after surrendering his bail.
Mr Tobin (48), a father of two, from Offington Drive, Sutton, Dublin, had brought the appeal against a decision to extradite him over the incident in the city of Leanyfalu, near Budapest, on April 9, 2000, when the car he was driving mounted a footpath and struck the two children.
Marton Zoltai (5), who was standing on the pavement, and Petra Zoltai (2), who was in a pram, were killed.
Mr Tobin, his wife and two Irish friends, who were also in the car at the time, all turned up at a police station the following day and made statements.
A qualified accountant, working in Hungary on secondment for Irish Life, Mr Tobin was later charged with negligent driving causing death and sentenced to three years' imprisonment by a local court.
The sentence was passed in his absence because, after co-operating with police, his passport was returned and he came home after completing his work in Hungary.
He had denied the charges.
Extradition proceedings were brought against him in 2007 to serve his sentence in Hungary but these were dismissed by the High Court and then the Supreme Court.
The courts found in his favour because a requirement of the European Arrest Warrant, under which he was sought, had not been met as he had not "fled" from Hungary after the incident but had left, returned and then left again "without impediment".
In 2010, two months after the Government here had amended the legislation to remove the "fled" requirement, the Hungarian authorities issued a new warrant for Mr Tobin.
He lost a High Court challenge to the second extradition attempt but won his appeal to the Supreme Court last year.