Sunday 18 February 2018

Extradition case heard for two men wanted in connection to death of Irish man whose body was found in suitcase

Brian Kavanagh

THE extradition of a Dublin man wanted in connection with the death of a man whose body was found inside a suitcase in an Amsterdam canal would violate his constitutional rights, the High Court has heard.

Dutch authorities are seeking the surrender of Kenneth Brunell (27) from Palmerstown and Barry McArdle (27) from Drimnagh, who were arrested on foot of extradition warrants issued in 2011.

The men are wanted to face trial in connection with the death of Keith Ennis (29) from Walkinstown, who was on the run from Gardai at the time.

Mr Ennis’s body parts were dumped in a suitcase in a canal on the northern outskirts of Amsterdam after he was stabbed to death.

Last month High Court judge Mr Justice John Edwards said he had received information from a Dutch prosecutor that a decision had been made to charge and try the respondents in The Netherlands.

A third man, Philip County (31) from Foxdene Gardens, Lucan, was extradited to Holland from Ireland in April 2011.

Counsel for Mr Brunell, Robert Barron SC, this morning told the High Court that under Irish Law the issue of a warrant that affects a person’s fundamental human rights must be issued by a person independent from the investigation being carried out.

He said Mr Brunnell should not be extradited because of an alleged legal bias and lack of objectivity on behalf of the Dutch prosecutor.

Counsel submitted that if this violated the constitutional right of Mr Brunell to an independent objective assessment of his case, the High Court ought not to surrender him.

Mr Justice Edwards said he was troubled by the issue raised by Mr Barren and would need time to reflect upon it.

He adjourned the hearing until November 18th and remanded Mr McArdle in custody until that date. He issued a warrant for Mr Brunell, who did not attend this morning’s hearing.

Mr Barron said it was understood that Mr Brunell believed there was a threat against his life and had gone in to hiding.

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