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Romanian killer fails in legal bid to stay in NI

By Alan Erwin

Published 03/10/2015

A man wanted in his native Romania to serve a prison sentence for the deaths of two people in a road crash has lost his legal bid to remain in Northern Ireland
A man wanted in his native Romania to serve a prison sentence for the deaths of two people in a road crash has lost his legal bid to remain in Northern Ireland

A man wanted in his native Romania to serve a prison sentence for the deaths of two people in a road crash has lost his legal bid to remain in Northern Ireland.

Senior judges in Belfast dismissed Claudiu Tomse's appeal against an order for his extradition back to the country.

They rejected claims that the return would see him denied proper medical treatment for injuries he sustained in the accident.

Further submissions that Tomse's human rights will be violated by being put into an overcrowded jail and apart from his family were also thrown out.

In 2014 the 33-year-old was ordered to serve a sentence of three years and nine months for vehicular manslaughter and aggravated theft. No details of the offences, which occurred in 2012 and involved the deaths of two people, were disclosed in court.

Tomse was convicted in his absence having already left Romania by that stage. He was detained in the Belfast area later last year under the terms of an European Arrest Warrant.

A panel of High Court judges were asked to rule yesterday on his appeal against a decision that he should be returned to Romania. They heard that Tomse underwent a splenectomy to remove his spleen following the road collision. His barrister Richard McConkey argued that he had not received vital antibiotics from the Romanian authorities.

It was contended that this breached Tomse's entitlement to freedom from inhuman or degrading treatment under the European Convention on Hiuman Rights.

Concerns were expressed about the potential health implications of having him returned to overcrowded prison conditions.

Tomse's legal team also claimed his extradition would be contrary to his partner and child's right to family life.

However, Lord Justice Gillen, Lord Justice Weatherup and Mr Justice Colton dismissed all grounds of challenge. They pointed to correspondence from the Romanian authorities which pledged that any prisoner will be assured medication.

Lord Justice Gillen added that overcrowding levels of around 9-10% was not enough to suggest an inmate on antibiotics would have his human rights breached.

Backing the decision to order Tomse's extradition, the judge said: "We have concluded there's no reason to believe that Romania, as members of the Council of Europe, is not able and willing to fulfil its obligations under the Convention."

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