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Jewellery burglar loses extradition appeal

By Alan Erwin

Published 29/05/2015

A jewellery burglar wanted in his native Lithuania to serve a prison sentence has lost his legal battle to remain in Northern Ireland.

Eimantas Proberkas was appealing a decision by the Recorder of Belfast to order his extradition to serve a three-year sentence.

Proberkas' jail term for a burglary committed in September 2009 was originally suspended for three years. During that period he committed administrative offences, resulting in the suspension being revoked in September 2013.

With no evidence that he was present for the revocation, he left Lithuania for Dublin a month later. After a European arrest warrant was issued he was arrested by police in Northern Ireland in January 2015. Proberkas based his legal fight on a claim that the September 2013 ruling amounted to a further conviction.

A panel of High Court judges in Belfast rejected submissions that the Recorder was required to discharge Proberkas under the terms of the Extradition Act 2003. Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan said the warrant indicated that the suspension of the sentence was revoked because of the appellant's failure to fulfil obligations imposed on him by the court. He held: "The revocation of the suspension of a sentence is the enforcement of the original sentence and is not part of the process of conviction."

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