13 December 2001 Edition

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European Arrest Warrant attacks civil rights

Sinn Féin TD Caoimhghín Ó Caolain has expressed his opposition to the proposed European Arrest Warrant. Ó Caoláin slammed the rushing through the Dáil of the motion approving the warrant proposal. He said:

"Because of the rushing through of this motion in an hour and the guillotining of debate, I and other deputies are being prevented from speaking on this vital matter. This is a disgrace.

"I oppose this European Arrest Warrant. I think it is a scandal that we are being asked to rubber stamp in the space of an hour a measure that has huge legal, judicial, political and civil liberties implications. On those grounds alone this measure should be opposed."

"I only got sight of the proposal cited in this motion this morning," Ó Caoláin said. "It was not even circulated to all deputies and my office had to request a copy from the Library. It is a detailed and legally complex document which was only laid before the Dáil yesterday. Yet today we are expected to nod it through without any proper scrutiny or debate.

"Any proposal which affects the liberties of citizens and their rights before the courts must be given the most careful and detailed consideration. This is certainly such a proposal as its sets aside the normal extradition procedures."

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