Garland goes on the run

A not entirely unexpected turn of events, as reported by Seán O’Driscoll in the Irish Times[subs req], in the US attempt to extradite Workers Party President Sean Garland on charges of conspiring to counterfeit US currency. Garland has jumped bail, despite agreeing to remain at an address in County Down and three sureties of £10,000 being lodged on his behalf, and issued a press statement via this website claiming his legal representatives had no knowledge of his intentions and placing himself “under the protection of my own government and my country’s constitution which guarantee me basic human rights and freedoms.”.. over to you, Taoiseach.
From Sean Garland’s statement –

In view of the above and indeed much more as to the grossly unjust nature of this Extradition Treaty I have decided therefore not to return to British jurisdiction. I will place myself under the protection of my own government and my country’s constitution which guarantee me basic human rights and freedoms.

I thank all those people in The Dail and Seanad, The House of Commons, the many hundreds of international supporters, parties and individuals, and the many thousands in Ireland who have played a part in this fight.

We shall continue to fight this extradition demand of the US and we look forward to the continued support of all our friends and supporters in this new phase of the campaign.

In conclusion I wish to thank my legal representatives and apologise to them for any inconvenience or difficulty my decision, of which they had no knowledge, may cause them.

And, from Seán O’Driscoll’s report[subs req] –

The US attorney’s office in Washington, which has indicted Mr Garland on conspiracy charges, said that it will be meeting with the justice department’s office of international affairs, which handles extradition cases, to decide how best to have Mr Garland extradited to the US.

A spokesman for the office, who was meeting with justice department officials on a separate issue yesterday, said that he did not want to pre-empt any outcome but said it was likely that fresh extradition proceedings will begin in the Republic if Irish authorities do not return Mr Garland to Northern Ireland.

The case will likely be handled by justice department senior attorney, Tressa Borland, who deals with extradition proceedings with the Republic and has recently made very critical comments to prosecutors and to the Irish Department of Justice about the Republic’s lack of co-operation on extradition proceedings.

Jonathan Cherry, a spokesman for the secret service, which investigated the Garland case and handed it over to the US attorney’s office, said the investigation into Mr Garland and his associates remained ongoing and would not be affected by his decision to stay in the Republic.

He said Mr Garland’s extradition was a matter for the US attorney’s office.