Colombia Three could be jailed in Ireland

Tánaiste Mary Harney, who is standing in for PD party colleague Michael McDowell as Minister for Justice, has said the Colombia Three shouldn’t underestimate the Government’s “determination to explore all the options open to it, to ensure that Ireland plays its full part in the fight against international terrorism”.

Harney said in a statement that the men were “no friends of the peace process” and insisted that no deal had been done with Sinn Féin.

She added that the Transfer of Execution of Sentences Bill 2003, which is currently going through the Dáil, provides for a person to serve in Ireland a sentence imposed in the state from which they fled.

“The question of the three men serving their sentences here in Ireland in the event of extradition proceedings being unsuccessful is one of the issues which the Government has been considering,” she said.

The provisions of the Bill will apply before or after it is signed into law.

Harney also revealed that Garda enquiries into where the men are hiding and whether they breached Irish laws were continuing but that while Colombian police had contacted Gardaí, no extradition request has yet been made.

There are unconfirmed reports that the men have been in Ireland since March.

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