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Judgement reserved in extradition challenge by Algerian man accused of terror

The State has opposed the application.

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File
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THE HIGH COURT has reserved judgment in a challenge against another refusal by the Minister for Justice to revoke a deportation order made against an Algerian man with alleged links to Islamic terrorism.

This is the third such challenge brought on behalf of the man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons and fears being tortured if returned to Algeria.

The State has opposed the application and argues the Minister’s decision to remove the man from the State should be upheld.

The Supreme Court in July 2017 quashed the Minister’s first refusal to revoke the deportation order issued in late 2016 also remitted the man’s case back to the Minister for further reconsideration.

The Supreme Court’s ruling came after the man appealed an earlier High Court order which found the Minister’s decision there were no substantial grounds to find he would be at real risk of ill-treatment if deported to his home country was lawful.

Last December the High Court quashed the second refusal by the Minister to revoke the deportation order due to a failure to inform the man’s lawyers that certain information about Algeria was relied upon by the Minister when considering the application to revoke.

The High Court sent back the matter back for fresh consideration. Last February, after the case has been reconsidered, the Minister again refused to revoke the deportation order against the man.

On Thursday Michael Lynn SC, with David Leonard Bl argued before Mr Justice Richard Humphreys that the Minister’s latest decision should be quashed.

This was because there is a danger his rights under Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights, which prohibits torture and being subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment, would be breached if he was returned to Algeria, counsel said.

Three reports on human rights and prison conditions in Algeria from internationally recognised experts in support of the man’s claims were submitted to the court.

Counsel said the man has been in custody in Ireland since 2016.

Protection

Opposing the challenge Remy Farrell SC, with Sinead McGrath Bl for the Minister, said that there have been significant improvements in regards to the protection of human rights in Algeria especially since 2016.

Counsel said that there had been changes to the Algerian constitution, the establishment of a human rights body by the Algerian authorities.

In addition the Algerian government’s intelligence agency, which had been accused of human rights abuses, the DRS had been disbanded.

Following the conclusion of submissions today Mr Justice Humphreys reserved judgment on the issue.

The man, who attended today’s hearing was convicted of terrorism offences in Algeria and France, and had previously used multiple identities and had been jailed in Ireland for attempting to travel on a false passport,

The Minister issued a deportation order against the man in 2016 after gardaí informed the Department of Justice the activities of the man and his associates were “of serious concern” and “contrary to the State’s security”.

The man, aged in his 50s and has lived in Ireland for several years, denies being involved in terrorism or being involved in groups including Al-Qaeda.

He claims he is at risk of being tortured and subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment due to his political views.

During the 1990s he was convicted of several offences in Algeria and received three life sentences and two death sentences, which are no longer carried out.

Those offences include forming an armed terrorist group intending to spread murder, sabotage, possession of prohibited war weapons assassination, theft intending to harm the security of his home country.

He was jailed for eight years following his arrest in France in 2002 after he was found guilty of charges including membership of a criminal organisation preparing an Act of Terrorism.

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Aodhan O Faolain

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