“the execution of these warrants is simply a judicial process”

With “political talks between the British and German side on how to deal with this thing”, no doubt, continuing Roisin McAliskey’s solicitor has been granted a delay, until 27 June, in the hearing of the German authorities’ bid to bring her to trial via a European Arrest Warrant. And, according to the BBC report

Defence solicitor Peter Corrigan told Belfast Recorder’s Court on Tuesday that the case had been “politically motivated” at the highest level of the Northern Ireland Office. Mr Corrigan said he required time to get evidence to support an application for abuse of process and would also be relying on the undue delay by the authorities in Northern Ireland in acting on the German warrant which was received last October.

Except, of course, the NIO aren’t the ones pushing for the extradition.. it’s the German authorities who have always maintained, despite the assessment of the CPS in England, that there was a case to answer.

As for the CPS in England.. here’s the statement, in July 2000, from Hansard referred to in the report – which also predicted the abuse of process claim.

Mr. Goggins: To ask the Solicitor-General if he will make a statement concerning the possible prosecution of Roisin McAliskey.

The Solicitor-General: Further to the statement of the Home Secretary on 10 March 1998, Official Report, column 133W, that he would not order the extradition of Roisin McAliskey to Germany, the Crown Prosecution Service, in accordance with this country’s obligations under Article 7 of the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism, has considered whether to prosecute Roisin McAliskey in this country for the offences allegedly committed in Germany in relation to the Osnabruk bombing of 28 June 1996.

The test applied by the Crown Prosecution Service is the test set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors that applies to all prosecution will be commenced or proceeded with only if there is sufficient evidence to afford a realistic prospect of conviction and that prosecution is in the public interest.

The Crown Prosecution Service, having taken the advice of Senior Treasury Counsel, has concluded that there is not a realistic prospect of convicting Miss McAliskey for any offence arising out of the Osnabruk bombing. It has reached that conclusion having taken into account the available evidence and the likely result of any argument that may be put forward by Miss McAliskey that to prosecute her now would be an abuse of process.

The Law Officers have been consulted and we agree with the conclusion reached by the Crown Prosecution Service.

It is not usual for the Law Officers to make announcements concerning consideration of individual cases. In this instance, the Home Secretary, in a written reply, 20 March 1998, Official Report, column 742W, said that this matter would be considered for prosecution in the United Kingdom. It is right that the House should be informed of the outcome of those considerations.

And there’s a useful reminder of the some of the reasoning behind the European Arrest Warrant here

No political involvement: In extradition procedures, the final decision on whether to surrender the person or not, is a political decision. The EAW procedure abolished the political stage of extradition. This means that the execution of these warrants is simply a judicial process under the supervision of the national judicial authority which is, inter alia, responsible for ensuring the respect of fundamental rights.