Thursday 22 March 2018

Father-of-one wanted in connection with 1998 murder surrendered by High Court to Northern Irish authorities

Ruaidhrí Giblin

A father-of-one wanted in connection with a 1998 murder in Co Tyrone has been surrendered by the High Court to Northern Irish authorities.

Francis Lanigan (49), with an address at Pinebrook, Mulhuddart in Dublin, had fought his extradition to the North, where he claimed his life would be at risk from loyalist and republican paramilitaries were he to be handed over to UK authorities.

Mr Lanigan was arrested by gardaí in January 2013 on foot of an extradition warrant in connection with the murder of John Knocker, who was shot dead in a hotel car park in Dungannon, Co Tyrone on May 31, 1998.

The High Court heard previously that Mr Lanigan was arrested at a Dublin gym where he was working as a self-employed barber.

He first gave his arresting garda a false name, and later said he was working under the name 'Kieran McCrory' for his own protection for the previous 15 years.

The court also heard that gardai were aware Mr Lanigan was living under that name for a number of years before his arrest because a detective had covertly gone to the gym where he worked, had done a DNA test on a coffee cup and ascertained that the man living as Mr McCrory was really Mr Lanigan

Mr Lanigan was initially considered a flight risk and refused bail in February 2013, but was successful in a fresh bail application last December, despite the objections of gardaí.

The High Court indicated its decision to surrender Mr Lanigan today/yesterday(FRIDAY) and, following an unsuccessful application seeking leave to appeal its decision, Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy made the order surrendering Mr Lanigan to persons duly authorised by the issuing State to receive him.

Mr Lanigan was remanded in custody pending surrender.

Ms Justice Murphy refused leave to appeal the surrender on all grounds put forward by his lawyers.

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