Extraditions opposed

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A third attempt to extradite Liam Campbell to Lithuania is being opposed over the nature of the prison conditions in the country.

Mr Campbell (pictured) is facing charges in the Baltic nation over an alleged gun-running plot by the Real IRA breakaway group. It is the same plot that his brother Michael was acquitted of after a court accepted that the scheme had been a frame-up by British military intelligence.

This is the third attempt to extradite Mr Campbell to Lithuania. While initial proceedings were taking place in Dublin and while he was on bail, he was arrested in the Six Counties. He was held for nearly four years before the High Court ruled against extradition after it found that Lithuanian prison conditions would violate his human rights.

He was subsequently arrested in Louth and is currently again facing extradition from the 26 Counties. His efforts to have the Lithuanian prison inspected by the 26 County authorities have so far been rebuffed, creating a legal stalemate.

A barrister representing the 26 County Government told a court in Dublin it would not be involved in any inspection and that it would be up to Mr Campbell to organise this himself.

This latest attempt to extradite Mr Campbell has generated protests amongst human rights activists and by Republican Sinn Fein.

They said: “Liam has already faced proceedings in one part of Ireland and extradition was ruled against based on Human rights grounds, the conditions in Lithuanian prisons are notorious.

“The attempts by the 26 County government to extradite him for the third time is ludicrous, it should be remembered that they are trying to extradite Liam to a Country that he has never even visited.”

DAMIEN McLAUGHLIN

Meanwhile, the lawyer for another republican who is facing extradition to the Six Counties has told the High Court in Dublin there is a real risk he will face inhumane treatment in the north.

Damien McLaughlin is facing charges connected to the death of a prison warder in a gun attack in 2012.

Opposing an application for his surrender to the north of Ireland on grounds that it would be contrary to Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, his barrister David Leonard pointed to the regime of full-body strip searches at Maghaberry jail.

He noted that warders had previously subjected McLaughlin to “aggressive and humiliating” forced body searches which left him “black and blue”.

Justice Aileen Donnelly insisted the complaints concerning the inhumane and degrading strip searches related to seven years ago.

“It is a limited case based on no objective findings and more particularly it is based on information that is now well passed,” she declared.

Mr McLaughlin was remanded in custody and the case adjourned to next Wednesday.

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