Monday 23 October 2017

Son of Irish Isil suspect detained in Jordan, court told

The European Court of Human Rights has made an order temporarily preventing Ireland from deporting him. Stock Picture
The European Court of Human Rights has made an order temporarily preventing Ireland from deporting him. Stock Picture
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

A son of the man authorities believe to be the "foremost organiser and facilitator" of Isil fighters in Ireland has been detained twice in the past year by a foreign intelligence service.

The son was released by Jordanian intelligence last weekend but remains under scrutiny, the High Court has heard.

Details of the detention of the son emerged as lawyers for his father began judicial review proceedings contesting an order to deport him to Jordan.

It also emerged that an associate of the man had been killed fighting in Syria. It was not disclosed what group the associate was fighting for.

The man's legal team is seeking to have the decision to deport him set aside.


It is also seeking an order compelling the Minister for Justice to accept his application for asylum as well as a declaration he is entitled to apply for refugee status without needing the minister's consent.

Due to a court order, the man at the centre of the case cannot be identified.

However, Mr Justice Richard Humphreys said the man's country of origin could be reported.

The man was accompanied in court by Khalid Kelly, a Dublin-born Muslim convert who was arrested by gardai in 2011 for making threats against the life of US President Barack Obama.

London-based human rights barrister Danny Friedman QC, who is representing the man along with Michael Lynn SC, said that prior to the decision to deport the man, sufficient weight was not given to medical evidence showing he had been tortured in his home country over his political beliefs between 1991 and 1996.

He also claimed the potential consequences for the man, if he was to be returned to Jordan, had "not been engaged with" by the State.

These include the potential for further torture as a result of the allegations he supported Isil's cause.

A previous court hearing was told gardai suspected that he was a "recruiter" of Islamic terrorists who "makes travel arrangements" for others to fight abroad in countries such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

He was described as "a senior operative of Isil" and its "foremost organiser and facilitator within the State".

The man denies the allegations.

Mr Lynn told the court the man had arrived in Ireland in 2000 with his wife and family and applied for asylum.

A child was subsequently born to the couple here and he applied for residency on the basis of the child's birth.

The court heard he withdrew an application for asylum after the child's birth and was granted residency the following year.

He sought to have his residency renewed in January of last year, but this was refused and a deportation order was issued last November.

Since then the matter has been the subject of proceedings in the High Court and the Court of Appeals.

The European Court of Human Rights has made an order temporarily preventing Ireland from deporting him.

The State has agreed not to deport the man until his legal challenges are concluded.

Mr Lynn said his client had made a renewed application for asylum in Ireland, but the Justice Minister and the Refugee Applications Commissioner had refused to deal with it.

"We are entitled to have our claim processed. That is why we are applying for declaratory relief to that effect," he said.

Mr Friedman argued the deportation order was defective because it did not "take account of relevant factors".

He said "uncontested medical evidence" was "not fully scrutinised" and "unreasonably rejected".

Mr Friedman added that the consequences for the man on his return to Jordan "have not been engaged with".

Irish Independent

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