Monday 20 November 2017

Irish citizen wanted in US on terrorism charges brings High Court challenge

The High Court in Dublin
The High Court in Dublin

Aodhan O'Faolain and Ray Managh

An Algerian-born Irish citizen, wanted in the US on terrorism charges, has brought a High Court challenge against the DPP's decision not to try him in Ireland for the offences on which his extradition is sought.

Ali Charaf Damache (47), who has been living in Ireland for a decade, is  facing charges relating to conspiracy to provide material support for terrorists and attempted identity theft to facilitate an act of international terrorism.

It is alleged the conspiracy was orchestrated in Ireland and he is currently detained in Cloverhill prison. A US extradition request, which Damache opposes, is due to be heard in the High Court later this month.

His lawyers yesterday (Fri) claimed the decision not to prosecute him in Ireland fails to take regard for his constitutional rights. 

Micheal O’Higgins, S.C., counsel for Damache, said the DPPs decision amounted to a breach of Mr Damache's rights. They had asked to be provided with reasons for the decision but none had been provided by the State.

Damache is seeking to quash the DPP's decision not to prosecute him here.

Mr Justice Michael White said he had never heard the like of such an application in his life. It was a novel case and any application for permission to bring the action would have to be made in the presence of the State authorities.

Damache was arrested in March by gardai in Waterford Courthouse on foot of a warrant shortly after he had pleaded guilty to sending a menacing phone call to US Muslim activist Majed Moughni.

He was originally arrested in March 2010 as part of an unrelated investigation into an alleged conspiracy to murder Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who sparked an international controversy by depicting the Prophet Mohammed on the head of a dog.

Online Editors

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