Tuesday 20 March 2018

Irish-based Isil suspect will take case to Europe if deportation is approved

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald – the Isil suspect wants her to allow him to apply for asylum. Photo: Tom Burke
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald – the Isil suspect wants her to allow him to apply for asylum. Photo: Tom Burke
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

A suspected Isil activist living in Ireland is expected to bring his case to Europe should the courts here decide he can be deported.

The man, who cannot be identified due to a court order, is fighting efforts by the Department of Justice to have him extradited to Jordan.

He claims he was tortured by intelligence services there in the past and would face similar treatment again if deported.

A High Court judge last week reserved judgment on an application from the man for orders setting aside his deportation order.

The man is also seeking an order directing Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald to allow him apply for asylum.

Mr Justice Richard Humphreys said he hoped to have his judgment as soon as possible.

Informed sources said the man intended to fight all the way to the European Court of Human Rights should his deportation be approved by the courts here.

Lawyers for the State have argued the man is a threat to national security. They say he is considered the foremost Irish-based organiser and facilitator of Isil fighters.

Gardaí suspect he has acted as a "recruiter" of Islamic terrorists, making travel arrangements for others to fight in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

It is claimed he has consulted with senior violent extremist leaders outside Ireland.

The man denies all of these allegations, but admits being opposed to the regime in Jordan.

He claims he was victimised there because of his political views during the 1990s, suffering electric shock torture and falanga, a form of torture involving the beating of the soles of the feet.

The court heard the man's son was held for three months by Jordanian authorities last year before being released.

A close associate of the man died while fighting against President Assad's forces in Syria.

The man, who is of Palestinian origin, arrived in Ireland in 2000. He claimed asylum, but withdrew the application after fathering a child here, which helped him secure residency.

Authorities refused to renew his residency permit last year because the child had not been living in the State.

After being informed the State wants to deport him, the man applied for asylum but claims the minister has unlawfully refused to make a decision on his application.

The High Court application is the second of two cases before the courts in connection with efforts to deport the man.

Late last year, the man obtained a temporary injunction preventing his deportation.

This was set aside by the High Court, a decision the man appealed to the Court of Appeal.

While the appeals court was hearing submissions on the matter, the European Court of Human Rights dramatically intervened, asking the State not to deport the man until his legal proceedings challenging the planned deportation are concluded. The State agreed to the request.

Irish Independent

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