Colombia told request will be considered

THE Colombian government was assured their request to extradite three Sinn Féin members from Ireland would be given full consideration by the Attorney General (AG) and the Department of Justice yesterday.

Meanwhile, the Colombian foreign minister revealed that much of their fledgling peace process was based on the Good Friday agreement and she thanked Ireland for contributing €390,000 to a fund supporting the process.

Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern met his Colombian counterpart, Carolina Barco, in New York yesterday where he was addressing the United Nations general assembly.

He told her the 400-page document received last Wednesday requesting the extradition of Niall Connolly, 38, from Dublin, Martin McCauley, 41, from Lurgan, Co Armagh, and James Monaghan, 58, from Donegal, was currently being translated from Spanish. It would then be considered by the AG and the department.

However, there is no extradition treaty between the two countries.

The three jumped bail after they were sentenced to 17 years in jail in Colombia last year for training FARC guerrillas in explosives techniques. They unexpectedly turned up in Dublin in July.

Ms Barco said the Peace Law recently introduced in Colombia was partly based on the Good Friday Agreement, especially in relation to allowing guerrilla members found guilty of crimes to be released on licence.

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