McAliskey extradition refused.. again..

Belfast Recorder Judge Tom Burgess has delivered his promised written judgement on the application by the German government for the extradition of Roisin McAliskey and as the BBC reports, on the balance of probability, he has decided that it would be “oppressive” to proceed. Full judgement here. No word yet from the German government.. despite those political talks..From the judgement


54. I have already determined that Ms McAliskey believed from 1998 that the threat of extradition was behind her, a fact confirmed in her mind by the statement of the Attorney-General in 2000. I have determined that I am satisfied that this was a reasonable belief for her to hold (a) in the context of the decision of the Home Secretary, and the basis of that decision and (b) in the absence of any indication from any quarter that the possibility of a re-activation of the proceedings was still in the minds of the German authorities. I confirm that I have placed considerable weight on this factor in my decision.

55. I have also placed weight on the basis of the Home Secretary’s decision that Ms McAliskey’s health precluded her from being extradited, and the need for treatment that was envisaged to be long term and in her home environment.

56. I also place weight on the fact that Ms McAliskey believed, in my view fairly and reasonably, that she had been afforded the opportunity to rebuild her life, as part of the process of tackling of her mental problems. That she did across the wide ambit of all the activities and relationships that formed part of her life. The most telling of these was the decision to have a second child. The statement of the Attorney-General could only have reinforced that belief, and given her confidence that her future lay in her hands.

57. The sense of security arising from the passage of time on its own could allow the Court to decide this matter under Section 11 and Section 14, but any combination with either or both of the other two factors of her health and her advancement in life reinforce my decision.

58. Finally effect already on her health, together with the threat to her future health, whatever the degree, could also be taken into account when considering the question of ‘oppression’.

59. I therefore determine for the reasons I have set out that Ms McAliskey has satisfied me that it would be oppressive to extradite her, and I refuse the application.

60. Finally in that event I would rule that there is no requirement for any further steps to be taken in these proceedings.

, , , , , ,

  • Dewi

    Good – one of the strangest episodes in very strange times.

  • joeCanuck

    Indeed Dewi.
    I read the full judgement and it is clear, agreed by both sides to the hearing, that this woman is ill, and has been since she witnessed the attempted murder of her parents all those years ago.
    This judge has ruled that there will be no further proceedings in the matter.

  • PeaceandJustice

    Is there now a time limit whereby if you can avoid extradition to another EU country for a period of time you can get away with terrorist offenses?

    There is talk of her suffering trauma due to the attack on her family home. A fellow EU country believes she has a case to answer about trying to murder soldiers in Germany. What about the trauma caused to the victims of Sinn Fein IRA violence? Can anyone who has suffered trauma at the hands of SF IRA claim immunity from prosecution?

    Her mother Bernadette McAliskey supported the murder of Protestants and didn’t care about what their children suffered. This ruling is a joke.

  • P&J;, don’t you realise how selfish you’re being by putting trivial matters like justice before The Process?

  • joeCanuck

    Read the whole judgement.

  • Dewi

    P&J;- read the history as well as judgement.

  • Dec


    Pay particular attention to the Attorney General’s statement to the House of Commons in 2000 before you start bandying words like ‘Justice’ about, when your desired outcome fails to materialise.

  • PeaceandJustice

    If a Loyalist had carried out an attack in Eire and said he/she was suffering from trauma as a result of Sinn Fein IRA actions when a child, Pan-Nationalists on here would be making derogatory comments.

    I can only assume a deal was done between the Government and Sinn Fein IRA. Germany has every reason to be annoyed.

  • Outsider

    She’s pulled a fast one, its only fair I suppose most of the provisional movement never received justice for their murderous terrorist campaign so why should this terrorist be any different.

  • joeCanuck

    That oul judge certainly had the wool pulled over his eyes.
    The more I think about it, it was an awful waste of money to have those inquiries and all those days of hearings etc. We could have put Judge P&J;in charge of the case with Beano as chief counsel and Outsider as junior counsel. The whole business might have been resolved in minutes. Heck, they could have saved the Germans the cost of a trial too by just finding her guilty at the same time and throwing her in jail here.
    I mean, there must be lots of empty cells available now that all those murderers, some of them psychopaths, from the UDA, IRA, UVF, INLA etc freely wandering our streets.
    Innocence before being found guilty is soo yesterday.

  • Outsider


    I would have had her shipped to Germany faster than you can say Slugger O’toole if I had my way.

  • Scott

    To Outsider and P&J;, are your comments based on the evidence produced over the past 9 years that there really is a case to answer and an obviously guilty person has escaped justice, or more ‘there’s no smoke without fire’?

  • Outsider

    To Outsider and P&J;, are your comments based on the evidence produced over the past 9 years that there really is a case to answer and an obviously guilty person has escaped justice, or more ‘there’s no smoke without fire’?

    Both, but she wont stand trial so justice will never be served and the truth will not come out.

  • Mick Hall


    I would have had her shipped to Germany faster than you can say Slugger O’toole if I had my way.”

    That attitude was the very reason the north has suffered so tragically over the period of the long war. Roisin as a child born into this period was just as much a victim as those killed by PIRA’s bombs and bullets.

    Unless somehow you and others like you can find the wisdom to put old injuries behind you, not easy, but it is the only way future generations will not have to go through all that crap again.

    The fact that Roisin as an Irish republican has found some justice in a British court is of enormous significance and if you cannot see the integrity of the judges judgement and what it means for the future then you need to look more at this matter.

    All the best.

  • Outsider

    That attitude was the very reason the north has suffered so tragically over the period of the long war. Roisin as a child born into this period was just as much a victim as those killed by PIRA’s bombs and bullets.


    How had Donegal suffered?

  • Billy


    P&J;always has plenty to say about Republican violence.

    Oddly enough, reading his condemantion of “loyalist” terrorism wouldn’t take very long at all.

    It would, however, take you a hell of a long time to find it.

    If you like to believe that all the terrorism in the North was carried out by Nationalists\Catholics then you’ll enjoy P&Js;posts (particularly if you like a big dose of hypocrisy thrown in).

    If you’re looking for an even handed intelligent analysis of the FACTS (including – shock horror! – the fact that “Loyalist” terrorists killed hundrdeds of innocent Catholics) then I would advise giving his posts a wide berth.

    He doesn’t like any of that stuff being mentioned.

  • Scott


    I wouldn’t agree that the truth won’t come out of the incident in question, as others have been extradited and indeed convicted. Is that not some sort of ‘justice’?
    First attepmt fails on medical grounds, A-G then announces no evidence to prosecute in UK and third attempt fails today. Am i niaeve in my failing to see a conspiracy?

  • Outsider


    If you swap the words Loyalist and Protestants to Republicans and Catholics and vice vera you have accurately described your own posts.

  • Outsider


    Others may have been extradited but where is the justice for this individaul why should she get off without so much as a trial.

    I wouldn’t call you naive that would make myself naive but its simply more apeasement to sinn fein/ira, another cherry in their cake just like the Quinn murder will result in a cover up that will be nother cherry for them.

  • Scott


    Is it not slightly perverse to say that an individual who has been through 3 separate sets of legal proceedings surrounding the same incident (surely unheard of in itself?) over 9 years must be guilty and has therefore escaped justice?

  • joeCanuck

    I believe that there is a visceral hatred of the name “McAliskey”” which perhaps goes some way to explaining some people’s rush to judgement.

  • Pete Baker

    To those concerned.

    It’s hardly an isolated case from the German authorities.

    And I’m not convinced that there aren’t legitimate grounds for an appeal in this case.

  • Scott


    what grounds do you think this can be appealed on? Judgement seemed clear.

  • Pete Baker

    The judgement was not supposed to be on the medical evidence – which was not fully explored.


    “Therefore I require to decide whether on the balance of probabilities Ms McAliskey has persuaded me that it would be oppressive by reason of the passage of time to order her extradition to Germany.”

    Which you might not recognise from the actual ruling..

  • joeCanuck

    Splitting hairs there Pete.
    Bet you a pint that there won’t be an appeal.

  • Outsider


    I wouldn’t bet against you on this, Republican terrorists have a nasty habit of escaping their deserving noose.

  • Scott


    Is the medical argument not irrelevant as the facts weren’t opened, and as it transpires, do not need to be opened? The judge has ruled on the ‘passage of time’ point, and that alone is enough to dismiss the extradition request. I thought that an appeal can only be based on the points the judge actually decided upon?

  • Billy


    “If you swap the words Loyalist and Protestants to Republicans and Catholics and vice vera you have accurately described your own posts”

    How pathetic!

    I challenge you to find 1 single post where I have in any way shown support for Republican terrorism.

    Here’s a clue – you won’t! In fact, I stress my abhorrance of ALL violence in my posts.

    That’s the difference between us – my attitude to violence doesn’t change depending on the religion of the terrorist.

    Yours does – it’s pretty clear that you don’t see “Loyalist” terrorism as being quite as bad as that from Republicans.

    You are a “loyalist” terrorist apologist.

    I may disagree with many posters here but I respect the ones who, like me, UNRESERVEDLY CONDEMN ALL VIOLENCE.

    Do you really think people don’t notice the different standards that you and P&J;apply to “loyalist” terrorism?

    No-one is really interested in one-sided condemnation from a terrorist apologist.

  • Outsider

    Billy I equally challenge you to find one post in which I have supported any loyalist terror group, here is a clue you wont.

    I despise the torture they have brought to both sections of the community and I refuse to call them loyalists.

  • joeCanuck


    I think you’re being a bit disingenuous in talking only about “republican terrorists”escaping justice.
    How many cases against those from “both sides” have been dropped because the DPP “ruled” that it wouldn’t be in the public interest to proceed. For “public interest”, read “some politicians may have to answer some very awkward questions”.
    Just to take one example; which “side” murdered Donaldson. Must be close to 50/50. But given that there appeared to be no serious investigation in the north would lead me to believe that the broad “crown forces” were responsible. An argument that it couldn’t be investigated because it was in another jurisdiction is hogwash. Where the murder was planned (conspiracy) is as relevant as where it was carried out. Will anyone argue that it was not planned in N.I.?

  • Billy


    Fair enough. I was annoyed at your posting and replied in haste which is always a bad thing.

    My initial post was aimed at P&J;and I stand by that. His blatent double standards towards “loyalist” terrorism have been commented on many times by myself and other posters.

    However, your attack on me was unwarranted. As I said, my record is 100% consistent – I am a Nationalist and I apologise to no-one for that.

    I despise all violence and I have no prejudice against anyone based on colour or creed.

    Your comment comparing me to P&J;was both untrue and unfair.

    Frankly, I think that’s obvious to any open minded person.

  • RepublicanStones

    outsider and p&j;tell you what guys how about a swapsey, you can have McAliskey, in return for providing just one RUC man who colluded and was responsible for the deaths of innocent nationalists(shouldn’t be too hard, as there was plenty), so he can be tried in court. how about it?

  • Turgon

    I do not really want to enter into a debate on this one and do not wish to comment one way or another on Ms. McAliskey’s guilt or innocence. However, Pete Baker’s comments do merit a reply.

    The medical evidence might well not be enough to prevent extradition. Major depression is a remitting, relapsing condition. Also it can be extremely well treated by medication in the vast majority of cases. For anxiety and panic dosorders to be exacerbated by the threat of standing trial is of course unsurprising. However, clearly by that logic no one with such a condition could stand trial.

    I am not a lawyer but would agree with pete that the medical evidence looks, on reading the whole judgement, to be potentially inadequate to prevent extradition. As such the passage of time argument seems to be a firmer ground for refusing extradition.

    That said I suspect joeCaunck is correct and there will be no appeal.

  • susan

    Is the physical evidence linking Róisín McAliskey to the attack on Osnabrook damning enough to justify either her extradition or the many months she was held without being formally charged back in the nineties?

    I was not in a position to follow this case closely in 1997, so I went looking for more background information online. Obviously the Amnesty International reports online detailing McAliskey’s treatment in prison while pregnant and as a new mother during her sixteen month detention in 1997 are distressing reading, but I tried to be impassive and plow on searching for written reports from credible news sources offering substantive evidence of her likely participation convincing enough to justify McAliskey’s detention then or her extradition now.

    Frankly, I’m still looking. Is this really a case of the judge and/or the UK government putting McAliskey’s emotional needs above the interests of the German nation on purely compassionate grounds, or is it that there was there not enough evidence to warrant her being formally charged in Britain then or convicted if extradited and tried in Germany now?

  • Pete Baker

    I’d suggest, susan, that the answer to your question is that the German authorities believe they have sufficient evidence to bring charges, and to issue a European Arrest Warrant.

    And it’s worth noting that the EAW was designed to prevent political interference in extradition cases.

  • susan

    I’m aware of that Pete, and I’m aware that Judge Burgess and the British government are even more surely aware of that. Which makes their actions puzzling.

    I’m troubled by this report I read this morning from a 1997 Amnesty International press release arguing for a review of the extradition proceedings against McAliskey on the grounds that extradition proceedings do not require a case of prima facie evidence against the person sought being presented as a prerequisite. It also alleges to discrepancies about alleged eyewitnesses being raised on German television.$File/EUR4501697.pdf

    I’m aware that many would question the credibility of an Amnesty International report. That — as well as my own curiousity about the case — is why I was looking for more background on the physical evidence against McAliskey from impartial news sources. As I said, I am still looking.

  • Pete Baker

    What’s puzzling about their actions, susan?

    It’s in perfect keeping with The Process.

    That Judge Burgess uses decisions made by politicians – before the EAW was introduced – to justify his ruling is more puzzling than the actions of the politicians.

  • PeaceandJustice

    To Billy – I challenge you to find 1 single post where I have in any way shown support for terrorism.

    Here’s a clue – you won’t!

    I make no apology for being a Unionist and for pointing out the blatant double standards of many Pan-Nationalist posters. That seems to annoy you greatly. Perhaps you should re-read your own ‘Brian Feeney’ style posts before judging other people. If I appear to attack Sinn Fein IRA terrorists more than others it is because of the sheer number of posters on here who glorify the murders carried out by the SF IRA death squads – yet blame everyone else and talk about justice.

    Instead of your usual blanket statements about violence, which parts of my posts do you disagree/agree with?

    i.e. Her mother Bernadette McAliskey supported the murder of Protestants – often in front of their children? The trauma caused to the victims of Sinn Fein IRA violence? A terrorist attack on German soil and the system won’t hand over one of the suspects to a fellow EU country?

  • susan

    Pete, I’ve searched news sources commonly cited in blogs here — the BBC, the (London) Independent, etc. — for answers about the evidence supposedly in the possession of the German prosecutor, only to find more and more questions.

    In this piece in the Guardian from this August, Jeremy Hardy argues that when the CPS investigatied prosecuting McAliskey in the UK themselves their conclusion was that the evidence was simply to feeble to possibly secure conviction. Hardy goes on to argue that the legislation concerning EAWs allows any member state to demand extradition of a suspect without any examination of the evidence by a magistrate, and that under German law McAliskey would not be entitled to trial by jury and could be held for up to two years without trial.,,2153448,00.html

  • Pete Baker

    The problem with Hardy’s argument is that the correct place for any evidence to be tested is in the jurisdiction where the crime was committed – and where the charges are brought.

    Additionally, given the nature of those charges, there would be no right to a trial by jury here.

    As for the statement in the House of Lords by the Attorney-General – which is what Hardy refers to – I’d like to be able to state that such statements are never the result of political pressure.. but I can’t.

  • joeCanuck

    I’d like to be able to state that such statements are never the result of political pressure.. but I can’t.

    So true, Pete. But it isn’t confined to the McAliskey case, as you well know.
    What about the many DPP’s decisions that it wouldn’t be “in the public interest” to proceed?

  • Pete Baker


    The Hardy article is linked, and discussed, in the Slugger archive.

    And, my mistake.

    It was actually the Solicitor-General.. in response to a question from Paul Goggins, MP..