Wednesday 28 September 2016

Analysis: If this man is so dangerous, why is he not being prosecuted here?

Published 25/06/2016 | 02:30

Another odd feature of the case is the extent to which information is being shared with Jordanian authorities. (Photo by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images)
Another odd feature of the case is the extent to which information is being shared with Jordanian authorities. (Photo by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images)

There is something troubling about how the State has handled the case of the Jordanian national it wishes to deport due to his alleged support of Isil fighters.

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The Department of Justice has portrayed him as "a senior operative of Isil", a man adept at organising logistics so young men can travel to Syria, Iraq and other countries to fight and carry out atrocities for the doomsday cult.

We have not been made aware of the basis for the allegations, but one would assume such claims are not being made lightly.

Allegations of this type are usually backed up with a considerable bank of compelling evidence. So why then are we seeking to export a supposedly deadly terrorist instead of charging him and presenting this evidence in a court of law?

This country has had the Special Criminal Court for more than four decades.

It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it is there for the purpose of dealing with individuals who are considered a threat to national security.

The man's senior counsel, Michael Lynn, quite rightly queried in a previous High Court hearing why gardaí had not moved to bring criminal charges against his client.

Another odd feature of the case is the extent to which information is being shared with Jordanian authorities.

One would think that if the State was about to deport a terror suspect, details of his alleged activities would be shared with the country he is being sent to.

But in a High Court judgment rejecting the man's attempt to have an application for asylum in Ireland considered, Mr Justice Richard Humphreys yesterday said: "There is nothing to support the proposition that the Jordanian authorities currently know anything at all about the applicant."

The judge formed this view after hearing four days of evidence, including lengthy submissions on behalf of the Justice Minister.

"He is proposed to be returned to Jordan as a free man, with family living in the country, and without any evidence that a cloud of suspicion will accompany him," the judge said.

Irish Independent

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