Sunday 17 December 2017

Hearing for alleged Isil 'recruiter' fast-tracked

Michael Lynn SC, for the man, supported an accelerated hearing in the case Photo: Tom Burke
Michael Lynn SC, for the man, supported an accelerated hearing in the case Photo: Tom Burke
Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

The State has been granted a priority hearing for two linked asylum applications involving a man alleged to be the main recruiter for the Islamic State (Isil) in Ireland.

The man, who denies he is involved with Islamic extremism, is appealing a refusal by the Minister for Justice to allow him to re-enter the asylum process. He is also challenging his deportation to a country in the Middle East amid claims that he will be subject to inhumane and degrading treatment there, including the possibility of torture.

The Court of Appeal, which sat over the Christmas holiday period to hear an appeal against the lifting of an injunction preventing the man's deportation, is due to give an imminent ruling in that case.

Yesterday, barrister Sinead McGrath, for the State, sought an accelerated hearing of the case. Senior counsel Michael Lynn, for the man, said his client has no difficulty in the matter being given priority.

The matters were provisionally fixed for March 1 and the case is expected to take two days to hear.

Last Christmas, plans to deport the man allegedly involved with Islamic extremists were put on hold following a dramatic intervention by the European Court of Human Rights. It 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 a High Court order lifting a temporary injunction restraining his deportation.

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

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

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

He has been living in Ireland for some time, and withdrew an initial asylum application some 15 years ago when he and his family first arrived in Ireland after he secured residency here on the basis of the birth of his Irish-born son.

He was told in March 2014 by the Irish authorities that they intended to deport him.

His residency permit was not renewed because his Irish-born son has been living overseas with his mother for the last number of years. He then sought to re-enter the asylum process but was denied permission to do so.

The State claims the man has consulted with senior violent extremist leaders outside Ireland, made travel arrangements for Isil members, and is involved in recruiting new members.

Irish Independent

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