Thursday 23 November 2017

Gerry Adams's brother fights extradition over alleged assault

Sarah Stack

Sarah Stack

The brother of Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has begun a legal challenge against his extradition to Northern Ireland where he is wanted over the alleged sexual abuse of his daughter.

Liam Dominic Adams is wanted for questioning by the Police Service of Northern Ireland in relation to 18 offences against his daughter, Aine Tyrell, who has waived her right to anonymity.

His extradition case is listed for two days - today and Thursday - before Mr Justice John Edwards at the High Court in Dublin.

The sex abuse claims became public in December 2009 when Ms Tyrell - who has travelled to Dublin for the extradition hearing - was featured in a television documentary.

It is claimed the offences of rape, indecent assault and gross indecency occurred at various addresses in Belfast between March 1977 and March 1983, when the victim was aged between four and 10.

Adams, a 55-year-old republican, handed himself in to gardai in Dublin last year after a European Arrest Warrant was issued by the PSNI.

The republican denied he fled the North to escape prosecution but claims he feared he and his children were in danger after media reports of the allegations.

He previously said he fears he will not get a fair trial in the North.

The High Court heard that Adams denies five charges of rape, seven of indecent assault and six of gross indecency.

Aileen Donnelly, senior counsel for the State, said a complaint was first lodged by Ms Tyrell, now 38, and her mother, Sarah Adams, to police at Grosvenor Road in Belfast on January 21, 1987.

In a written statement, it was alleged that the accused had lived at various address with Ms Tyrell, her mother and siblings and that he "would get into her bed and always do the same things to her", said Ms Donnelly.

After a graphic description of how Ms Tyrell was allegedly forced to engage in sexual acts, the judge adjourned the hearing to read the papers in private.

The court heard that Mrs Adams later told police her daughter could not proceed with the case as she would not be willing to attend court. However Mrs Adams wanted the case against her former partner to continue.

Michael O'Higgins, senior counsel for Adams, said there was a 12-year gap before the complainant went back to police to proceed with the case, during which time the Public Prosecution Service directed that no charges be brought.

Adams was arrested in February 2007 and denied the allegations, but it was almost two years before a European Arrest Warrant was issued.

Mr O'Higgins said he was contesting the extradition on the grounds that there was a delay in bringing the prosecution, the extensive pre-trial publicity and changes in the law regarding jury selection in Northern Ireland.

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