47 people returned to Ireland on European arrest warrants in 2017

47 people returned to Ireland on European arrest warrants in 2017

47 people were returned to Ireland for charges on European Arrest Warrants in 2017.

The Department of Justice published the European Arrest Warrant Annual Report for last year on Monday.

47 people were returned to Ireland on foot of warrants and a further 60 were returned by Ireland to other EU member states.

The Annual Report of the European Arrest Warrant Act reveals that Ireland issued 76 warrants to other EU member states during 2017.

On foot of these warrants, a total of 47 people were returned, bringing the total number of surrenders made to Ireland since 2004 to 478.

The report also shows that 357 European Arrest Warrants were received by Ireland during 2017.

The warrants related to a variety of offences including murder, rape, drugs offences, assault and robbery.

Over the course of the year, 73 warrants resulted in the surrender of 60 individuals by Ireland to other member states.

159 warrants transmitted by the state were still ongoing on December 31 2017.

The bulk of the warrants come from the UK, followed by Poland.

Announcing the figures, the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said the range of crimes noted in the report were extensive.

"The European Arrest Warrant is a valuable mechanism that helps ensure that dangerous criminals can be apprehended, keeping EU citizens safer as a result.

"It provides for an enhanced extradition process within the European Union and I note that European arrest warrants received during 2017 cited a wide range of offences including murder/grievous bodily harm, sexual offences including rape and sexual abuse of children, drugs offences, robbery/assault, fraud and human trafficking."

While the report relates to operational matters concerning the European Arrest Warrant in 2017, the minister also reflected on the potential impact of Brexit on the extradition process.

"The departure of the UK from the EU is particularly significant for Ireland on a wide range of issues.

"However, in the context of combating crime and terrorism, the necessity to maintain a functioning system of extradition between the two states has been identified as the key priority.

"I have requested my officials in the Department of Justice and Equality to examine the implications of Brexit for extradition between the two states and to consider the options available to address the various possible outcomes to the Brexit negotiations."

The operation of the European Arrest Warrant, which allows the transfer of suspects between EU countries for trial or imprisonment is one of the areas of judicial co-operation which could cease in the event of a hard Brexit in March.

In September, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled that Irish courts must co-operate with Britain as usual and that European Arrest Warrants were to continue in force until the UK leaves the EU.

- Press Association


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