Tuesday 16 January 2018

Adams expected to appeal extradition on rape charges

Liam Adams leaves a previous court hearing with his daughter Claire Smith
Liam Adams leaves a previous court hearing with his daughter Claire Smith
Alleged victim and daughter Aine Tyrell

Brian Kavanagh

LIAM Adams is expected to appeal the decision to extradite him to Northern Ireland to face multiple rape charges against his daughter.

Mr Adams, the brother of Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams, was released on bail yesterday after the High Court in Dublin ruled he should be extradited.

The PSNI want to question him in relation to 18 alleged offences against Aine Tyrell, who has waived her right to anonymity.

Yesterday, Mr Justice John Edwards said that the High Court would not uphold the points of objection raised by Liam Adams in his fight against extradition and would make an order for his surrender to the North.

He said issues relating to the possible prejudice to his trial on the grounds of pre-trial publicity, and the delay in bringing the prosecution, could be addressed by the courts in the North.

The judge said there was no evidence Mr Adams's prosecution was politically motivated.

People on both sides of the political spectrum in the North, he said, including Liam Adams's "prominent brother", may have made politically motivated public pronouncements or commentated inappropriately in a self-serving way on the case.

But he said there was no evidence that the prosecution service in Northern Ireland had been subjected to or had yielded to pressure from external sources and acted out of political motivation.

The judge said that despite opinions as to Mr Adams's guilt expressed by prominent people including his brother, it was quite incorrect for Mr Adams to contend that he no longer enjoyed the presumption of innocence.

But Judge Edwards deferred making the order for extradition until Thursday, allowing time for Mr Adams and his legal team to consider whether to appeal the ruling.

Mr Adams will remain on bail until Thursday's hearing and could remain on bail for up to two years if his case is appealed to the Supreme Court.

He is wanted in the North to answer five charges of rape, seven charges of indecent assault and six charges of gross indecency against Ms Tyrell (38).

Support

Speaking briefly as she left the court building, Ms Tyrell said that she was feeling "more positive" after the ruling.

She said that she wished to thank her friends and family for supporting her, adding that she would be there "until the end".

It is claimed the sexual offences occurred at various addresses in Belfast between March 1977 and March 1983 when the alleged victim was between four and 10 years old.

Mr Adams, with a last address at Bernagh Avenue in Belfast, turned himself into gardai in Dublin in March 2010 after a European Arrest Warrant was issued by the PSNI.

He denies all the charges and contested the request for his surrender.

During a High Court hearing in July, counsel for Mr Adams, Michael O'Higgins, said that his client been "widely condemned" as a guilty man by persons of repute and by people in a position of public authority.

He also contended that if Mr Adams were returned to the North it was likely he would be denied bail and would enter the prison service as a protected inmate locked up for as much as 23 hours a day.

However, Judge Edwards said the court was not satisfied that the "mere expression of an apprehension" that Mr Adams may be subjected to a restrictive custody regime in the North did not amount to evidence that he would.

Irish Independent

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