McAliskey’s EU warrant overrides UK law…

Jeremy Hardy finishes this piece with a great one liner (he’s a stand up, he can’t help himself), but the import of his argument would appear to be wider than a single (cheap?) point at the expense of Sinn Fein. Róisín McAliskey is facing extradition from to Germany in connection with a bombing of British Army barracks in Osnabruck. A previous attempt at extradition failed when Jack Straw, then British Home Secretary, refused on health grounds. However, the new request is under an European Arrest Warrant which effectively removes such ministerial sanction, primarily by abolishing the dual crime requirement (ie, the crime must be common to both jurisdictions). So far 22 countries have signed up to it, including both the UK and the Republic.Hardy argues:

…if the British government can’t do anything, what can the spanking new Northern Ireland executive do? Well, roughly the same, but you might have thought Sinn Féin would be vocalising in some way. Policing was, after all, a sticking point for them. Interestingly, the Serious Organised Crime Agency received the resubmitted German warrant last November. But its officers didn’t turn up at McAliskey’s until May, two weeks after Sinn Féin was safely tucked up in Stormont.

Irish republicans have shown a reluctance to criticise anything about Germany since the Kaiser sent them rifles; I have no such qualms. Its prosecution service deserves opprobrium in this matter. However, I am afraid that we in perfidious Albion also need to buck our ideas up. Our leaders contrive ever more elaborate ways to get us into prison, and outsourcing seems to be one of them. Perhaps Eurosceptics should stop raging about the Human Rights Act and focus on the European arrest warrant.

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  • Cromwell

    I take it thats extradition “to” not “from” Germany Mick.

    I would imagine that since the first extradition was refused on medical grounds, that she hasnt been ill all this time & its about time she got over there & got it sorted out.

  • Jeremy’s final conclusions are somewhat mystifying to put it mildly. His assertion that a bond of some kind may exist between SF and the German authorities because of some archaic gun-running links is a little bizarre to say the least.

    My impression is that SF support for the McAliskey campaign has always been consistent and is also ongoing…

  • Dewi

    “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 Osnabruck 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 Prosectution Service.”
    That from the Solicitor General in July 2000:
    Note no reference to health. I find this business very strange as it’s the very same CPS that represent Germany in this matter.

  • Mick Fealty

    mac,

    That was the oneliner I mentioned… I think it was meant as a dig…

  • PeaceandJustice

    Although the British Government have a habit of letting people get away with murder (e.g. the Sinn Fein IRA killers in Stormont), it’s good to see that the Germans take a different approach.

  • DC

    If it helps to clear her name in connection with claims over old-terror claims well then lets see whether such new law can fairly do so.

    People want the truth and I suppose the German authorities are seeking that too.

  • Thanks Mick. Could be…

  • Oiliféar

    “Irish republicans have shown a reluctance to criticise anything about Germany since the Kaiser sent them rifles; I have no such qualms. … I am afraid that we in perfidious Albion also need to buck our ideas up.”

    Such funny noises from what sounds like a Little Englander reluctant about the possibility of Jerry justice while at the same time acknowledging the inhumanity of Tommy. Really, can we move past 1914?

    Thank goodness for this. Now at least with memory of torture at British hands behind her, Róisín will find some genuine justice. Pitty for the Little Englanders that it had to come from abroad.

  • mick hall

    As is the way within the UK, there is a law for politicians and a law for the rest of us. There are real questions here not least why the PSNI sat on this arrest warrant for months and who if anyone told them to. This is a strange one as Straw could slap the warrant down just as he did with the Chilean thug when he was wanted on a spanish warrant.

    Just another example of just what Mr Adams got the PRM to sign up to. When it suits the UK state Republican prisoners can be magic out of god knows where. Why now and who benefits is always the question.

    Under Adams and McG the Provos are becoming a joke, the British or their acolytes insult them almost daily, the claims their number two is a tout and now the latest claims about an MLA, plus this with Bernie’s daughter. Yet how does the SF leadership respond, they shuffle their feet and rub their hands. It seems their is almost no amount of shit that the UK state pours upon them will provoke and active response beyond a telephone call to one of their contacts within the NI office. Who always reply’s “it is not us guv, its those dastardly Germans or those bloody unionists,” Now come on, the Brits have a bit of a track record going back centuries here.

    It is hard to believe that the once might PRM has produced such a bunch of tight lipped and loose arsed politicians. They should be on the streets defended the girls right to get on with her life, just like the Brits have allowed Mr Adams and Co to do.

  • http://www.sinnfein.ie/gaelic/news/detail/19181

    It’s worth noting that sometimes it’s better to work these cases behind the scenes, so to speak. A lot of publicity isn’t always a good thing.

    (Should note that I have no personal knowledge of anything SF has done behind the scenes in this case, but I do in some other cases that we were also criticised for not appearing to be getting involved in.)

  • Mick Hall,

    “It is hard to believe that the once might PRM has produced such a bunch of tight lipped and loose arsed politicians. They should be on the streets defended the girls right to get on with her life, just like the Brits have allowed Mr Adams and Co to do”.

    Total and utter twaddle Mick. SF’s involvement in The McAliskey campaign has always been public and pro-active.

    Clearly your unfounded assumptions have just given you a vehicle to embark on what sounds like a poorly worded dissident-style rant…

    Complete

  • Ginfizz

    Almost enough to make me pro-EU.

  • mick hall

    macswiney

    OK, it was a bit over the top, but these days, one has to bang on the door hard to get a response from some of you shinners;) However my main point still stands, whenever the British state fires a shot across SF bows, as they did with the allegations the other day, a silly statement comes out of CH, the wagons are circled and that is it and the rest of us can like it or lump it.

    CNT mentioned on another thread some thing along the lines of, when a leading politician is accused of being an informer, it is really not good enough for them to keep quiet and await the dust to settle, and it is difficult not to agree with him.

    Do you not see the picture that is painted when we see Bernie’s daughter being victimized, whilst senior republicans are free to come and go where ever they wish;
    and appear to not see the need of answering to vile allegations of the worst kind.

    Now I am not suggesting this or that Shinner is a tout, but when it comes to the leadership they have a duty to put their reputations on the line and defend themselves ‘Publicly’ and vigourusly.

    Mr Simpson has made a threat to name a fellow MLA under parliamentary privilege, well what is stopping the MLA named as an informer from demanding that his name be cleared by the House or demand a committee of his peers be established to look into this matter, why does he not demand that Mr Simpson put his evidence before the assembly or withdraw and be shown a liar.

    We all know in the past when an A/C member heard a whiff of a rumor about a volunteer being a tout, he sent the likes of Freddie around to find out the truth of the matter. [which is a tale in itself] Do you feel the AC member would have been satisfied if Freddie returned and told him, “well, he cannot be a tout because he said so”. Please 😉

    One of the reasons these allegations are continuously coming up is because SF refused to challenge them publicly. Thus we have reached a stage when any member of the party could be called a tout and the leadership will not respond, thus no member is safe from these accusations. Which in itself is a negation of duty by the SF leadership.

    Now to get back to Bernie’s Girl, you are correct in that SF members have worked against her being sent to Germany, but the Party has not mounted the type of campaign around her that it would have done in the past. Now why is that?

  • mick hall

    It’s worth noting that sometimes it’s better to work these cases behind the scenes, so to speak. A lot of publicity isn’t always a good thing.

    Wed

    With respect that has been the cry of charlatan politicos throughout the ages. Tony Blair used it partly as his justification for supporting Bush’s invasion of Iraq.

  • And with respect to yourself Mick, that’s a completely fallacious argument, along the lines of “Hitler was a vegetarian”.

  • Oh and looky what’s just dropped into my mailbox:

    22 August, 2007: Sinn Féin re-iterates call for McAliskey Extradition to be dropped

    full statement at
    http://www.sinnfein.ie/news/detail/20327

  • redhaze

    macswiney,

    “SF’s involvement in The McAliskey campaign has always been public and pro-active.”

    Really? Other than a few limp statements released at the time of her second arrest, can you let us in on just what SF have been doing which is public and pro-active?

    Because that my friend is the real twaddle being peddled here, the family has launched a campaign and lets get one thing straight here, the SF leadership may find itself in its sights as much as anyone from the British establishment or indeed the German one.

  • redhaze

    Wed,

    “Oh and looky what’s just dropped into my mailbox:

    22 August, 2007: Sinn Féin re-iterates call for McAliskey Extradition to be dropped”

    Very impressive indeed. Just a few more limp wristed statements like this and the Germans should get the point. Come on ahead now.

    These statements prove nothing and will acheive nothing, only a full public campaign will and this one, thank god, will be led by the family, which is tankfully very independent, and not the SF leadership.

    It will be telling to see where SF fits into this campaign seeing as they will have no control over and cannot dictate its direction.

    Bernadette will have Adams for breakfast if there is any indication that SF had prior knowledge of this arrest or indeed if SF try and shirk their responsibility on this matter by hiding behind a few press releases.

    Interesting that this arrest came not only after SF was tucked up in Stormont and after the policing debate was over but also that it took place hot on the heels of Bernadettes oration at an eirigi commemoration in Dublin, which was one of her first political engagements in years.

    Was this also a shot over Bernadettes bow?

  • lib2016

    Sorry that I don´t have a reference but this subject has come up recently (about March, I think) and I posted a note to the effect that the German conservative government was pursuing this case as well as going after all the Red Brigade and other revolutionaries, retired and otherwise who had escaped to the East.

    Seems there´s a Prosecutor in Germany who feels he has a cause, or possibly it´s just proof that you can never trust a Tory, nationality immaterial.

    It´s a pity to see Jeremy going on like this – most of his stuff is more reasonable.
    Like so many on the left he doesn´t seem to realise that sometimes you have to consolidate before it´s time for another push.

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>I am afraid that we in perfidious Albion<< Didn't know that you lived in England Mick, oh I know that loosely it could mean the whole of GB but in common usage it refers to England. Perhaps it meant the political entity that you feel an affinity towards? I honestly don't know.

  • mick hall

    Opps poor old Jeremy is off the xmas card list to is he, what are the shinners consolidating for, a major push into the green leather seats of the British House of Commons.

    Lets get this clear you accept the rule of the UK State in Ireland as it is a stepping stone to ending partition. Mmmmm it has been tried before you know. I thought that was how the country came to be partitioned in the first place. Two steps backward one step forward, it takes time, but if that one step forward is consolidated, na you have lost me.

  • lib2016

    Let´s see – on the one hand we´ve got the negotiating skills of mick hall and on the other hand we´ve got the tried and true methods used by Mick Collins in 1920 to find a way for most of the country to reach independence now being used for the rest of us to do so.

    Wonder which way the public will support?

  • mick hall

    Let´s see – on the one hand we´ve got the negotiating skills of mick hall and on the other hand we´ve got the tried and true methods used by Mick Collins in 1920 to find a way for most of the country to reach independence now being used for the rest of us to do so.

    Lib

    The problem with what you call Mick Collins tried and true methods is they failed dismally to produce the Republic, and in the long run helped lead to 30 odd years of bloodshed. Collins was not sent to London to negotiate away the industrial north of the Irish nation, nor bring home half the bacon. So for me old Mick is not much of an example as a negotiator to hold up, bit like that fella who said there would be a Republic by 2016 to my mind. Now as a staff officer he was brilliant, but I doubt you wish to be reminded of that.

    Now I am all for trying other methods of struggle, but please don’t lets dress them up as the real thing until they produce something worth having. It is never wise for republicans to allow the British to set the agenda; and say what you like about the peace process, it was under British ownership from start to finish. If you doubt it ask yourself why the Provos have disarmed and the loyalist paramilitaries have not.

    Now back to RÓISÍN MCALISKEY.

  • These statements prove nothing and will acheive nothing, only a full public campaign will

    Erm, press statements are part and parcel of public campaigns. The idea is that you are putting stuff out to the press in the hopes of getting publicity for the cause.

    and this one, thank god, will be led by the family, which is tankfully very independent, and not the SF leadership.

    Now this is the part I love. On the one hand, you’re castigating SF for not being involved enough in the public campaign, on the other hand you’re thanking God that they aren’t. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t again…

  • Dave

    I need a little help here.. just who was it that posted the bail money for the woman in question? can anyone remember?

  • ballymichael

    I think some people here are missing the point. It’s an arrest warrant, not an extradition request. No british or irish politician has a say in stopping the warrant being served, and no evidence is weighed up.

    Part of the process of EU integration is to have members states work on the assumption that their citizens will get a fair trial in any other EU member state.

    My understanding is that when the extradition request was made back in 1997, the germans provided the evidence to the british, and the CPS claimed it wasn’t up to much.

    If this is so, then she probably has little to fear. In fact she’d have done better to just pop over to germany herself and see the prosecutor.

    Of course, if the evidence is strong, then prison does look likely. Germany imprisoned Leonard Hardy for six years for an earlier attack in osnabrück, just last year.

  • Brian Boru

    I don’t think she should be extradited because programmes I saw on this case indicated the supposed basis for the claim she was seen in Germany was extremely flimsey. The alleged witness apparently told the media she didn’t look like McAliskey.

  • redhaze

    Wednesday,

    “Erm, press statements are part and parcel of public campaigns. The idea is that you are putting stuff out to the press in the hopes of getting publicity for the cause”

    I quite clearly said only a full public campaign would be successful, SF has been forced into only making a few tame statements. My point was that only a campaign led by the family will succeed and I am in no doubt that when they kick this one off fully that it will.

    I did enjoy how you dropped the latest SF statement into the thread though. The ‘looky here’ had a distinct feel of drama, only for one to be let down when the statement was less august than the intro.

    “Now this is the part I love. On the one hand, you’re castigating SF for not being involved enough in the public campaign, on the other hand you’re thanking God that they aren’t. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t again…”

    Now this is the part that I loathe. Read everything again. My criticism was primarily directed at the SF supporters who are living in the mythical world that SF is actually doing enough about situations like Roisins. They aren’t. They are behind the eight ball here because they supported the PSNI, the ‘Criminal Justice System’, etc, which are partaking in the victimisation of good Irish Republicans like Roisin.

    But more than that if you care to read the post again you will see that I have not thanked God that SF aren’t involved enough in the campaign, but I did thank God that they aren’t directing or controlling it. Perhaps this is a demonstration of the SF mantra that one cannot distinguish between joinging something to partake and support it and joining only to direct and control it.

    Really Wednesday, sometimes reading can go a long way.

  • redhaze

    ballymichael,

    “My understanding is that when the extradition request was made back in 1997, the germans provided the evidence to the british, and the CPS claimed it wasn’t up to much.

    If this is so, then she probably has little to fear. In fact she’d have done better to just pop over to germany herself and see the prosecutor.”

    This sounds quite reasonable really.

    But then you consider that this is a warrant for what would be classified by even the most liberal of judiciaries as a very serious offence.

    Thus it would not be as simple as “popping over” to see the prosecutor over a latte, but would rather result in being remanded for a priod of approximately two years, in a foreign country, many miles from your home and your young children.

    Are you for real?

    The problem with these warrants are that there is little scope for a judiciary or government to be corrected by the population when the trial is of a foreign national facing trumpted up charges which will not be of much interest to mainstream opinion in Germany.

    Perhaps the Germans were less than impressed that their original request was knocked back and decided to make a point.

    Perhaps its a shot across Bernadettes bows following her oration at the eirigi commemoration in Dublin.

    Perhaps it was delayed to facilitate SF during the policing debate and their collaboration in the latest attempt to secure Stormont rule.

    Perhaps many things really. But one thing is certain. That should the Germans proceed with this, should the Brits relent, and should SF attempt to wash its hands, they will all be subject to a severely damaging public campaign led by Roisins family, friends and supporters.

  • mick hall

    As Red Haze wrote this is a serious charge that carries some heavy time, so understandably Róisín McAliskey must take it seriously and in all probability is very worried as to the outcome. Even the average local councillor can manage to place difficult problems forever at the bottom of their in-tray.

    So it is only right we ask ourselves why the UK and German justice ministries are not doing the same with this warrant. If SF are on side great, if they can pull strings behind the scenes great, but in the end it is pressure from public opinion that normally wins the day.

  • Dewi

    The thing that is strange – and maybe offensive, is that this sounds like getting tried for the same offense twice – and the very least odd, if not oppressive.

  • ballymichael

    redhaze

    This figure of two years being bandied about is based on what, precisely? If the evidence is weak, then a couple of interviews with police and prosecutor will be the end of it. It would be in her interest to go.

    And it it’s strong enough for her to be remanded, then court cases in germany take some time to prepare, but two years would be extremely unusual. One is much more likely.

    As regards the speculation about what is the motivation for the warrant, get real. German public prosecutors are not likely to be up-to-date with the latest conspiracy theory from ireland. Nor do they answer to britain. Nor to “public opinion”.

    They have an open file. They want to close it. If McAliskey is innocent, she has nothing to fear.

  • redhaze

    Ballymichael,

    “This figure of two years being bandied about is based on what, precisely? If the evidence is weak, then a couple of interviews with police and prosecutor will be the end of it. It would be in her interest to go.

    And it it’s strong enough for her to be remanded, then court cases in germany take some time to prepare, but two years would be extremely unusual. One is much more likely.”

    If I were to accept your superior knowledge on this subject could you please direct me to your source as to time scales, intentions, etc, of the German penal system, police and prosecutors?

    “As regards the speculation about what is the motivation for the warrant, get real. German public prosecutors are not likely to be up-to-date with the latest conspiracy theory from ireland. Nor do they answer to britain. Nor to “public opinion”.”

    In terms of the speculation…what is there to get real about precisely?

    Is it our of the realms of possibility or probability that the Germans were less than impressed the last time their request was refused and decided to pursue it via different channels?

    The other possiblities are clearly amed at the machinations of the British establishment.

    As we all now know the warrant was active some time before the Brits arrested Roisin.

    Thus was it the Brits whom sat on the warrant until SF had passed through the policing debate?

    Were the Brits firing a shot over Bernadettes bows by enacting the warrant many months after the Germans had issued it?

    Surely these are not unreasonable questions?

    “If McAliskey is innocent, she has nothing to fear.”

    Well now this is a very impressive statement of faith in a judicial system and the German equivalent of a Diplock Court. Sure no-one has ever been subjected to injustice in one of these set ups.

    What a load of balls.