Judge's fury at medical notes delay in Dessie O'Hare extradition case
Delays in securing Irish prison medical notes for ex-INLA man Dessie O'Hare's extradition battle are "outrageous", a judge has said.
O'Hare (60), known as the 'Border Fox', is wanted in the Republic over his alleged role in the imprisonment of a Dublin family.
His legal fight against extradition was due to be heard in Belfast today. But the case has now been put back amid uncertainty over obtaining the records, which are expected to feature heavily in the case.
During a review at Laganside Courts, Her Honour Judge Patricia Smyth pressed lawyers for an explanation on the hold-up.
She said: "I'm completely at a loss to understand a situation where the requesting State, Ireland, has not ensured that relevant prison medical notes from an Irish prison have been handed over promptly to enable this extradition to be dealt with expeditiously, as required under the Act."
O'Hare was detained last November at his home at Slaterock Road in Newtownhamilton, Co Armagh.
He is wanted in the Republic in connection with three counts of false imprisonment, threats to kill, grievous bodily harm and violent disorder.
The alleged offences relate to an incident at Garters Lane in Saggart, south Dublin, in June 2015.
A previous court was told O'Hare is accused of being the leader of a gang involved in a "terrifying" incident.
When Garda arrived, the wanted man and five others allegedly escaped through a nearby golf club. CCTV recordings and witness recognition evidence are said to form part of the case against him.
However, the issue of prison medical records remains outstanding.
Judge Smyth said it could have been sorted out weeks ago.
Counsel for O'Hare, Sean Devine, claimed the Irish authorities did not appear to have given it priority.
But the judge was unimpressed by his suggested target date of May 20.
Focusing instead on next Friday, she said: "I expect the Irish Government to have made these notes available by then.
"It's outrageous... there's not going to be any further unnecessary delays."