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20 January 2000 Edition

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Back issue: Extradition - back to feudal times

One of the biggest battles over extradition in recent years occurred this week in the Dublin Supreme Court when lawyers for Dermot Finucane challenged attempts to hand him over to the British authorities. For two days, lawyers and judges debated legal decisions which have turned 26-County Courts into rubber stamps for British extradition warrants.

Whatever the outcome, the final decision of the five Supreme Court judges will entail serious consequences for those concerned about civil rights in the southern state. On Tuesday and Wednesday this week Paddy McEntee, Finucane's counsel, laid out devastating arguments exposing the legal establishment.

The 1965 Extradition Act allows the handover of prisoners sought by the British courts but it exempts those who are charged with ``political offences''. For almost 20 years, membership of the IRA was taken as evidence that the defendant should be exempted from extradition on political grounds. But in 1982, the Supreme Court judged that Dominic McGlinchey should be extradited to the Six Counties on warrants concerning the killing of Hessie McMullan.

An Phoblacht, Thursday 18 January 1990

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