Holding answer received on 03 November 2014
Data is available between 1973 and 1999. It has not been possible to differentiate between terrorism and terrorist-related offences. Eight people in total were extradited to the UK from the Republic of Ireland for terrorism offences during this period and using the previous extradition arrangement. However, during this period the UK made 110 extradition requests to the Republic of Ireland in relation to terrorist offences, meaning that less than 10% of UK requests were successful during this period.
Extradited to the UK
Republic of Ireland
No reliable data is held between 1998 and 2008.
Since April 2009 three people have been surrendered to the UK from the Republic of Ireland in connection with terrorist and terrorism-related offences.
Patrick Gordon was arrested in Ireland in May 2013 and was surrendered to the UK in May 2014. He is charged with possessing documents containing information of a kind likely to be used by terrorists - bomb making recipes to produce napalm type weapons.
Liam Rainey was surrendered to the UK in 2011. He has been convicted of kidnapping a well-known republican in Belfast.
Ryan McKenna was arrested in Ireland in September 2013 and was surrendered to the UK in February 2014. He was charged with conspiracy to cause explosions and possessing explosives. Along with four individuals he was accused of trying to bomb a railway line using an IED and a home-made mortar. He was subsequently acquitted of all charges on 1 October 2014.
Although not yet surrendered, Adam Busby, the founder of the Scottish National Liberation Army, has been arrested in Ireland subject to a UK issued Arrest Warrant in relation to terrorism-related offences. He is wanted in connection with hoax bomb warnings and poisoning threats against well known political figures, including the former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
The Irish Justice Minister, Frances Fitzgerald, made clear in a letter dated 4 September 2014 to the Home Secretary and Justice Secretary that should the UK fail to opt in to the package of 35 criminal justice measures on 1 December 2014, there is no guarantee that the Irish courts would preserve the validity of outstanding Arrest Warrants. Consequently, Adam Busby could walk free if the UK does not rejoin the Arrest Warrant.
We are not aware of any UK requests to Ireland for terrorist and terrorism-related offences being refused.
In an article for the Irish Independent on 6 November the Irish Justice Minister noted that the, ‘…Arrest Warrant, in particular, had greatly assisted our mutual efforts to fight cross-border crime and to bring serious criminals, including terrorist, to justice’. Between 2010 and 2013 Ireland surrendered 88 people to the UK to face justice. This includes:
· Four for murder;
· Two for rape;
· 17 for child sex offences;
· One for kidnapping;
· Two for armed robbery; and
· 11 for Grievous Bodily Harm
During this same period the UK (excluding Scotland) surrendered 114 people to Ireland, including for offences of murder, rape and child sex offences.
Although extradition to and from Ireland was previously covered by the Backing of Warrants scheme, if the UK were not to rejoin the Arrest Warrant it would rely on the 1957European Convention on Extradition (ECE) in its relations with Ireland and all other EU member states. The Arrest Warrant offers the UK distinct advantages over the ECE.
Firstly, the process of extradition under the Arrest Warrant is quicker and cheaper than under the ECE. It takes approximately three months to surrender someone using an Arrest Warrant, however, it takes ten months on average using the ECE. On average it costs £13,000 to extradite someone using the EAW, and £62,000 using the ECE. This means that it would have cost the UK more than £5.5m more to extradite the same number of people to Ireland between 2010 and 2013.
Secondly, under the ECE certain countries can refuse to extradite their own nationals. This is not possible under the Arrest Warrant.
Thirdly, under the ECE, extradition can also be refused due to the length of time that has passed since the offence was committed. Again this is not possible under the Arrest Warrant.
Fourthly, Article 3 of the ECE allows refusals for ‘political offences’. It would be possible for terrorists to argue that their activities fell within the scope of this ground for refusal.