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Dublin: 18 °C Tuesday 23 July, 2019

Polish man who says he has a fear of flying has his extradition delayed

Piotr Skiba’s extradition was postponed two weeks ago after he refused to board a plane at Dublin Airport.

File photo
File photo
Image: Julien Behal PA Archive/PA Images

A POLISH MAN, who two weeks ago prevented his extradition by refusing to board a plane at Dublin Airport because of an expressed fear of flying, was today allowed to remain in the State until an appeal against his surrender by air is heard next week.

Court of Appeal President, Mr Justice Sean Ryan, sitting alone, granted Piotr Skiba a stay against his extradition until the appeal next week.

Skiba is wanted in his home country to serve two prison sentences of nine and 18 months for burglaries.

Barrister Kathleen Leader, counsel for the State, told the court the Minister was consenting to a stay being placed on Skiba’s extradition pending his appeal but asked that it be heard as the earliest possible date.

Judge Ryan said he would try to arrange a hearing before three judges of appeal either next Tuesday or Wednesday.

When the case came before the High Court two weeks ago, Detective Sergeant Jim Kirwan told Mr Justice Richard Humphreys that, when brought to the boarding gate by gardaí, Piotr Skiba, refused to get on the plane and expressed a fear of flying.

Barrister Mark Lynam, for Skiba, had told the court that Mr Skiba’s solicitor had on 9 December pre-warned the State Solicitor of his fear of flying.

Det Sgt Kirwan said it was 12 December when he had received any indication of Skiba’s fear of flying and he was sceptical because his dread of flying had been introduced at such a late stage.

The High Court had heard that once an extradition order was made by a court the authorities had 10 days in which to deliver up the subject of the extradition request and that time would have expired on Christmas Day.

Det Sgt Kirwan said that if the State had to extradite Skiba by sea and land the Garda authorities would have to notify the security services of every country Skiba would have to cross in order to make arrangements for his transport and delivery to Poland.

Approval would have to be sought in each country.

The High Court had heard that Skiba, who was married with four children in Ireland, had not been asked for medical evidence to demonstrate that he had a fear of flying. He had not been asked if he had such a fear until he had been taken to the airport.

Judge Humphreys had granted the State a 10 day extension, until tomorrow, to arrange for Skiba’s extradition.

Read: ‘People were forced to live in the same house for years’: Two decades of divorce in Ireland

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About the author:

Ray Managh and Saurya Cherfi

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