The High Court in Dublin has ordered the extradition of a man accused of being involved in a Provisional IRA mortar attack on a British army barracks in Germany 20 years ago.
Jimmy Corry, who was born in Belfast, was living in Killorglin, County Kerry when he was arrested on foot of a European Arrest Warrant.
This week, a judge noted but failed to act on concerns that this second extradition request arrived after a “significant culpable delay”. Mr Corry has previously spent four months in custody on a previous extradition request.
The judge also dismissed concerns that the extradition is contrary to the spirit of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, and insisted that agreement should only be taken into account in the event of a guilty verdict.
Mr Corry is suspected of involvement in a Provisional IRA attack in Osnabruck, Germany in 1996 in which three mortar shells were fired at a British army barracks, without causing injury.
Counsel for Mr Corry, Remy Farrell SC, had accused the German authorities of “culpable negligence” for waiting for more than 10 years to pursue his client’s arrest warrant.
He said the Germans had engaged in “finger-pointing” at the Garda and the State and failed to explain why they did not act on information given to them by gardai back in 2005.
Mr Corry was placed on the international wanted list in 2004 and in May 2005 gardai contacted German authorities to tell them he was living in Kerry.
After an inexplicable delay, the German prosecutor’s next move came this year when a European Arrest Warrant was issued and gardai executed it in October.
Mr Farrell said at the time: “This is a delay of truly exceptional proportions,” adding: “It is unconscionable that a party to such proceedings would refuse to give an explanation for a 10-year delay.”
Mr Farrell also said that under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, were Mr Corry to be found guilty of the offence in Ireland or Britain, he would be released within two years. However, he could face life imprisonment if found guilty in Germany.
This, he pointed out, was “oppressive” and discrimnatory” in circumstances where another person extradited to British jurisdiction for a similar offence would face a maximum of two years in prison.
The only person convicted over the attack was former British soldier Michael Dickson, who was arrested in December 2002 in the Czech Republic.
Mr Corry has said he is at a loss to understand the motivation to pursue an extradition in a case which was dropped against Roisin McAliskey, daughter of former republican MP Bernadette McAliskey.
“The Germans are obviously pushing for this, I can’t explain what way they’re thinking,” said the father-of-one.
“Ask the Germans why they want me, tell them about the peace process. I don’t think the Germans are very aware of what’s been going on here.”
Corry says he was never involved with the IRA and has not received a so-called ‘comfort letter’ from the British authorities. He now works as a lighting technician and has lived with his wife Christine in the quiet Kerry village of Killorglin for 20 years.
A native of the New Lodge in Belfast, the former actor said he had received “nothing but support” from locals after his first period of custory befoe receiving bail.
“It would be interesting if you asked the PSNI or the Ministry of Defence what their take on it is, to see if they’re pushing it,” he said.
“There are serial killers walking about Belfast, there’s worse people they could be chasing. The worst case scenario is that I go to jail but the attack was pre-Good Friday Agreement.
“Christine and I have been together since we were 15-years-old, we’re a tight family. Ordinary people is all we are.”