Wednesday 13 November 2019

Deported Isis suspect now planning court battle in bid to return to Ireland

IS fighters
IS fighters
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

An alleged Isil facilitator deported from Ireland last year is planning to mount a legal bid to be allowed to return here.

The man (54), who was an associate of Dublin-born suicide bomber Khalid Kelly, was deported to Jordan last July following a lengthy legal battle.

But his lawyers are now preparing to bring his case to the Court of Appeal arguing that a request for asylum should have been considered by authorities prior to his deportation.

If the case is successful, it could lead to the invalidation of the order used to deport him.

Human rights solicitor Darragh Mackin, of KRW Law, confirmed to the Irish Independent that an appeal was planned.

"We are in the process of drafting grounds of appeal at present," he said.

Bomber: Khalid Kelly blew himself up near Mosul
Bomber: Khalid Kelly blew himself up near Mosul

The father-of-four, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denies claims by authorities that he acted as an Isil organiser while living in Ireland.

He claimed his safety would be at risk if he was returned to Jordan as he had previously been tortured there due to his political views. This involved the use of electric shocks, the squeezing of his fingernails, and falanga - the whipping or beating of the soles of the feet, he claimed.

However, he lost High Court judicial review proceedings in which he sought orders compelling Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald to consider an application for asylum and a declaration he be allowed to apply for refugee status without the minister's consent.

The Irish Independent understands he was detained in Jordan for a short period following his deportation, but was subsequently released.

During the High Court proceedings it emerged gardaí suspected the man of being the "foremost organiser and facilitator within the State" of Isil terrorists.

It was alleged he made "travel arrangements" for others to fight abroad in countries such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

One of his sons had been killed fighting in the Syrian conflict, while another was detained in Jordan on a number of occasions.

The man was accompanied at one court hearing in March last year by Kelly, who would go on to carry out an Isil suicide mission in Iraq last November.

During earlier proceedings, the Jordanian's barrister Michael Lynn queried why gardaí had not brought criminal charges against his client, given the allegations that were being made. No reason was given for the failure to prosecute him over his alleged activities.

Although she would not comment on the case specifically, Ms Fitzgerald said she made no apology for deporting individuals in cases where intelligence suggested they were supporting Islamic extremism.

The man left Jordan in 1995 and travelled around Europe before arriving in Ireland in 2000 and applying for asylum.

The asylum request was withdrawn months later following the birth of a child and he was granted residency in 2001.

His eldest son died fighting in Syria in 2013 and the man's wife returned to Jordan with two of their children shortly afterwards.

In 2015 he sought to renew his residency in Ireland but ran into difficulties when it emerged his Irish-born child had been in Jordan for a period.

That March he was informed of plans to deport him due to the belief he was "an organiser for Isil".

The following month he made a new application for asylum, but the Justice Minister refused to consent to the application being made.

Irish Independent

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