Colombia Three released without charge

The three Irishmen convicted of training anti-government rebels in Colombia have all been released without charge by gardaí in Dublin.

The three Irishmen convicted of training anti-government rebels in Colombia have all been released without charge by gardaí in Dublin.

James Monaghan, Martin McCauley and Niall Connolly all turned themselves in voluntarily at different stations in the city yesterday.

They had been in hiding since returning to the Republic some time in the past few months.

Mr Monaghan and Mr McCauley were questioned for around six hours each before being released without charge, while Mr Connolly was held for 12 hours on suspicion of passport offences before also being let go.

The Gardaí are believed to be considering preparing a file for the Director of Public Prosecutions in relation to Connolly's case.

All three men are currently on the run from the Colombian authorities after they were sentenced to 17 years each in prison for training Marxist guerrillas in bomb-making techniques.

They are unlikely to be sent back to Colombia as the country has no extradition treaty with Ireland.

The Tánaiste, Mary Harney, has suggested they could serve their sentences in Ireland, but any move in this direction is likely to be met with hefty legal challenges.

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