“While the conduct of the applicant had contributed somewhat to the delay…”

The BBC reports the European Court of Human Rights ruling against the Irish government in the case taken by Maze escapee Brendan ‘Bik’ McFarlane following the collapse of his trial on charges relating to the kidnap of Don Tidey in 1983.

The iol report notes part of the ruling

The Court ruled in favour of the former IRA commander in the Maze and found the 10-and-a-half-year wait from his arrest in 1998 until he walked free was excessive.

The ECHR ordered the Irish state to pay McFarlane €5,500 damages and €10,000 costs and expenses.

The west Belfast republican’s appeal centred on four grounds – that authorities delayed bringing criminal proceedings and because of this key prosecution evidence was lost and there was a lack of evidence other than questionable police interviews.

McFarlane also claimed his arrest and detention was a deliberate and disproportionate interference with his private and family life and that there was no effective remedy under Irish law for his grievances.

The Court found: “While the conduct of the applicant had contributed somewhat to the delay, it did not explain the overall length of the proceedings against him.”

It added: “The Court concluded that the overall length of the criminal proceedings against the applicant were excessive.”

In a 60-page judgment, the Strasbourg court also ruled there was no suitable legal avenue in Ireland for McFarlane to deal with his grievances.

The court dismissed McFarlane’s claims there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute, noting that he had already secured an acquittal and also rejected claims his private life had been damaged, ruling that the complaint was out of time.

As I mentioned in March

Concerns about The Process™ [were] unlikely to be considered a valid defence…

Adds  Thanks to ‘slappymc’ for the link to the ruling

It was by a majority of 12 votes to 5…