Man accused of sex offences against niece loses extradition battle
A man accused of sex offences against his niece 28 years ago has lost a legal fight against extradition to the Republic of Ireland.
Senior judges in Belfast rejected his appeal against a decision that he should be returned over the border to face trial.
The man, referred to as AB due to reporting restrictions, is being sought on three charges of sexual assault of a child.
The alleged offences were committed at an undisclosed location in the Republic of Ireland in July 1991.
Gardai launched an investigation in 1993 - around the same time AB moved to Northern Ireland.
Authorities in the Republic initially decided not to prosecute him due to a lack of corroborating evidence.
But a European Arrest Warrant was issued in September 2017 after a new determination was reached in the case.
AB has been locked in a battle against extradition since he was detained two months later.
In May 2019 the Recorder for Belfast ruled that he should be transferred to stand trial.
Lawyers for the wanted man challenged that decision at the High Court, arguing that the request was an abuse of process.
They also contended that he should not be extradited due to delay in the case, and claimed it would breach his Article 8 rights to private and family life under European law.
But judges dismissed all three grounds of challenge.
Madam Justice McBride said: "We do not consider this was a borderline case where the culpable delay would have tipped the balance against extradition."
AB, who is currently on bail, now has 14 days to consider mounting a further appeal to the Supreme Court.
If no such legal move is made he us expected to be handed over to authorities across the border.
Belfast Telegraph Digital