Rights commission intervenes in case

The Irish Human Rights Commission has intervened in an extradition case of a man wanted to face international terrorism charges in the US.

The High Court heard yesterday it was the first time the commission has intervened in an extradition case.

Ali Charaf Damache, aged 49, an Algerian-born Irish citizen who has been living here for a decade, is wanted in the US to face charges relating to the conspiracy to provide material support for terrorists and attempted identity theft to facilitate an act of international terrorism. The High Court heard the US alleges it has evidence he conspired with American Colleen LaRose — who used the online name “Jihad Jane” — and others to create a terror cell in Europe capable of targeting both US and western European citizens.

It is alleged Mr Damache — who went by username “the black flag” — also participated in a conspiracy to transfer a passport stolen from a US citizen to an individual in Pakistan whom the conspirators believed to be a member of al Qaeda.

Mr Damache had twice sought judicial review of the DPP’s decision not to prosecute him in Ireland but both applications were refused by the High Court.

The High Court heard three of his alleged co-conspirators have already been sentenced.

If convicted, he faces up to 45 years in jail.

Michael Lynn, for the Irish Human Rights Commission, told the court “the commission is of the view it should intervene”.

He said the commission wanted to be in a position to make submissions on the human rights issues relating to the case. Mr Lynn said one potential issue would be his possible detention in a prison for 40-45 years and the right to practise his Muslim faith.

The court heard there was no objection to the application from Mr Damache’s counsel or the Attorney General.

Mr Justice John Edwards said he was disposed to grant the application and made an order permitting the commission to join the proceedings. Mr Lynn said the commission’s role would not delay the extradition matter.

The extradition case continues on October 28.


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