Thursday, September 01, 2005


Gardai likely to head to Colombia

It has emerged that Gardai are expected to travel to Colombia as part of their investigation into three Irishmen convicted of training rebels there.

Justice Minister Michael McDowell told a Cabinet meeting that no extradition warrant for the men has yet been issued by the South American country. (gee, I thought they were so concerned about seeing justice done?!)

An Irish government spokesman said: "The Cabinet heard that gardai have been in touch with police authorities in Colombia through Interpol.

"Mr McDowell also indicated that it was probable that there will be a trip by gardai to Colombia to make further inquiries."

There have been Opposition calls for the men either to be returned to Colombia, or to serve their jail sentences in Ireland.

This, to me, seems to be nothing more than a diplomatic gesture (I can think of a different gesture for the Colombians) to try and ease relations between Dublin and Bogota. I can't see the three men returning to Colombia. A spell in an Irish prison? Perhaps, but I think we can rule out an extradition for three principle reasons.

1) Legal reasons - There is no extradition treaty between ourselves and Colombia which creates many legal difficulties.

2) Political reasons - The Government would be faced with a backlash if the men were extradited and Fianna Fail could lose some support. The Opposition parties have taken a clever stance. They have not exactly been vociferous in their calls for the men to be returned and by putting out the option of the men serving time in an Irish prison, they can adopt the middle ground in the issue, though this is far more difficult for the Government.

3) Human rights reasons - Colombia's human rights record is a joke and it would be hard to morally justify sending the three men back to Colombia.

With all that being said, I think the three men are staying put on Irish soil. Colombia, it's time for you to let this issue go. You lose. Deal with it.


<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

© 2008 United Irelander.