Colombia Three extradition looking unlikely

The extradition of the three Irishmen convicted of training anti-government rebels in Colombia is reportedly unlikely to ever take place.

The extradition of the three Irishmen convicted of training anti-government rebels in Colombia is reportedly unlikely to ever take place.

Reports this morning said legal experts had indicated that the chances of such a move were remote due to the lack of an extradition treaty between Ireland and Colombia.

Jim Monaghan, Martin McCauley and Niall Connolly have been sentenced to 17 years each in prison for training the Revolutionary Armed Force of Colombia (FARC) in bomb-making techniques.

The men, who all have republican connections, were originally acquitted of the charge, but were convicted on appeal and have been on the run ever since.

Last Friday, it emerged that they were back in Ireland, a move that is already causing problems for the peace process.

In a newspaper article this morning, the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said the Irish Government did not do any deal with Sinn Féin allowing for the men's return, which he said had caused "enormous difficulties".

He promised to consider any request for assistance from Colombia, but also pointed to the lack of an extradition treaty with the South American country.

The Tánaiste, Mary Harney, meanwhile, is seeking a garda report on how the men got back into Ireland and has called on Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams to ensure they hand themselves into the Gardaí

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