Monday 14 October 2019

Man accused of terror plot bids to block deportation

Stock photo
Stock photo
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

An Algerian who has been linked to al-Qa'ida has made a fresh bid to avoid deportation.

Lawyers for the 54-year-old have argued there is a risk he will face inhumane and degrading treatment in his home country. The man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, appeared in the High Court yesterday in handcuffs for judicial review proceedings.

He is challenging the refusal by Justice Minister Charles Flanagan to revoke a deportation order. The case is the third in a series of legal challenges, who was linked by French authorities to al-Qa'ida.

A Paris court heard he had been fundraising for jihadists. But he insists claims he was a follower of the terror group were "made up".

The judicial review proceedings follow a decision by the Justice Minister last month not to revoke the deportation order.

Michael Lynn SC, for the man, told Mr Justice Richard Humphreys the minister had failed to give adequate reasons for his decision and also claimed there had been a breach of procedures.

He said three independent expert reports had all come to the same conclusion, that there was a risk of torture and inhumane and degrading treatment if his client was sent home.

Mr Lynn said Algeria failed to allow international observers, such as the United Nations and Amnesty International, access to its places of detention.

This was an issue the minister failed to deal with in his decision, he told the court.

However, Remy Farrell SC, for the minister, rejected these arguments and said there had been "significant improvements" in Algeria since 2016.

He said nearly all of the criticism prior to then related to the activities of the DRS, the state's former intelligence service that was dissolved two years ago.

Mr Justice Humphreys reserved judgment to a later date.

The man has been in custody on foot of a deportation order since March of last year. Prior to that he had been serving a six-month sentence for possession of a false Belgian passport while boarding a flight at Dublin Airport.

The man was a supporter of the banned political movement which sought to establish an Islamic state in Algeria. He fled the country around 1994 and was convicted in his absence of murder and formation of a terrorist group.

He ended up in Ireland in 1997 and gained refugee status in 2000. But he later turned up in France where he was jailed in 2005 for his role in a plot to commit terror offences.

After being released he illegally re-entered Ireland in 2009.

Irish Independent

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