Sunday 15 December 2019

Court to deliver judgement in case of ‘main recruiter for IS in Ireland’

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Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

The Court of Appeal will deliver its judgment "as soon as possible" in a case involving a man alleged to be the main recruiter for the Islamic State in Ireland.

Late last month plans to deport the man allegedly involved with Islamic extremists was put on hold following a dramatic intervention by the European Court of Human Rights which made a request to the three judge court which had the effect of temporarily preventing Ireland from deporting him.

The man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, has asked the Court of Appeal to overturn an earlier High Court order lifting an injunction which had restrained his deportation to a Middle Eastern country. 

The court heard the man suffers from health problems and fears being tortured if he is deported due to his political activities.

He was not present in court this morning.

The man denies acting on behalf of Isil or that he represents a threat to national security.

This morning Mr Justice Michael Peart said that the court was anxious to give its ruling as soon as possible.

Senior Counsel Remy Farrell, for the Department of Justice, told the three judge court that the intervention by the ECtHR last month had taken the immediacy out of the present situation.

Michael Lynn SC, for the man, told the court that he is challenging the position in Irish law before the ECtHR.

The European claim has not yet been submitted, said Mr Lynn, but if it is admitted to the Strasbourg court's list, the matter will be referred to the Department of Foreign Affairs to file written submissions outlining the State's position.

The state, which alleges the man is “the foremost organiser and facilitator of travel by extremists prepared to undertake violent action” on behalf of Isil and the “main recruiter” in Ireland for Isil, had opposed the appeal.

Last month Mr Lynn said the application to the ECtHR had been made by the deportee because there was no automatic stay on a deportation order in Irish law whenever an issue under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, prohibiting torture, is raised in a case. 

He said the man's legal team had made the application to Europe for an interim order but had not believed a decision would have been made so soon.

This morning Mr Lynn said that it brought matters to the attention of the ECtHR because it was felt that all domestic remedies had been exhausted at the time, late last year, when the High Court refused a 72 hour stay (postponement) against the lifting of the injunction as they sought an emergency hearing before the Court of Appeal which sat over the Christmas vacation to hear the appeal.

After hearing the conclusion of submissions from both parties, the Court of Appeal adjourned the case for mention to today.

The intervention by the Strasbourg based court meant that the Court of Appeal was not required to give a decision last month, but Judge Peart said it now intends to give its ruling as soon as possible.

Last month the court heard that the man had been told he must leave the Irish State before December 30 and, failing to do that, must report to the Garda National Immigration Bureau by January 5 for deportation.

In his appeal the man, who is married and aged in his early 50's, sought to overturn a recent decision of the High Court clearing the way for his imminent deportation by the Irish authorities to the Middle East.

He has been living in Ireland for some time and secured residency here on the basis of the birth of his Irish citizen 15-year-old son.  In March last he was told the Irish authorities intended to deport him.

His residency permit was not renewed because the boy has been living overseas with his mother for the last number of years.

The man launched several legal actions arising out of the decisions to deport him, which are pending before the court. He also secured a temporary injunction preventing his deportation pending the outcome of his case.

The State had succeeded in having that injunction set aside, leading to an emergency sitting of the Court of Appeal whose considerations were affected by the ECtHR's intervention.

A senior Department of Justice official had told the High Court earlier that, based on intelligence amassed by gardai and their counterparts in other jurisdictions, the State believed the man was consulted by and gave directions to senior violent extremist leaders outside Ireland.

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