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DUP fury at Colombia Three man's book deal

By Andrea Clements

Revelations that one of the Colombia Three is to publish a book about his experiences in jail were last night greeted with disgust by senior members of the DUP.

According to the Sunday Times, James Monaghan will give an inside account of his arrest and subsequent trial in Colombia Jail Journal, to be published in November.

Monaghan was one of three Irish men arrested at Bogota airport in August 2001 on suspicion of training Farc rebels in bomb-making techniques based on IRA technology.

He and he co-accused, Niall Connolly and Martin McCauley, were sentenced to 17 years in prison, but returned to Ireland in August 2005 after skipping bail.

An extradition request sent to the Irish authorities was unsuccessful.

The Sunday Times quotes Steve McDonagh from Brandon Books, which is publishing the book, as saying it is a "vivid account" of Monaghan's jail experience.

DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson, who saw the Colombian prison in which the three were held, said it was not morally right that Monaghan should profit.

"I'm aware of the deep anger that remains in Colombia that these three fugitives from justice still haven't been held to account for the crimes they committed.

"People are still being murdered by Farc using tactics taught by James Monaghan. The proceeds should go to victims rather than making profits for him."

Steve McDonagh told the Sunday Times that Monaghan's book "tells the story of who he met in Colombia and what he did".

"The book is full of atmosphere. It follows the court case but also depicts the difficulties he and the others faced inside jail," he adds.

It's unclear whether it contains any admission by Monaghan of links to the IRA.

The three men deny allegations that they taught Farc guerillas how to make explosive devices, and claimed that they travelled under false passports to study the Colombian peace process.

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