Belfast Telegraph

Ex-IRA man wins extradition battle

Ireland's state prosecutors will not appeal over a court order against the extradition of a veteran Republican accused in an alleged US super-dollar forgery plot, it has emerged.

The US Secret Service had accused the 78-year-old Sean Garland of conspiring to circulate high-grade counterfeit dollar bills throughout the 1990s with officials from North Korea and Russian spies.

The pensioner's solicitor, Colm MacGeehin, said he received a letter from the Chief State Solicitor's Office confirming the state will not appeal against the High Court order refusing Mr Garland's extradition.

"He is very pleased and relieved that at his age he is not being extradited to the US," said Mr MacGeehin.

"It is something he was vigorously defending."

Mr Garland was a former IRA leader in the late 1960s and early 1970s and a key figure in securing the Official IRA ceasefire of May 1972. He is also the former Workers Party president.

He was first arrested on foot of the US extradition warrant in 2005 in Northern Ireland. He then fled to Dublin when he was released on bail.

The ex-IRA leader, who has always protested his innocence, was later arrested in 2009 and released on strict bail conditions, which included surrendering the deeds to his family home.

Mr Justice John Edwards refused the application for extradition, ruling the US authorities had no jurisdiction to prosecute the Irishman.

However the judge referred the case to the Director of Public Prosecutions office as the US claimed much of the alleged forgery plot took place on Irish soil.

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