Man wanted in Romania for alleged murder seeks order requiring file be submitted to DPP

Mr Pal, who is also being sought in connection with the alleged creation of an organised crime group, is currently in custody fighting his extradition, having been refused bail.

Man wanted in Romania for alleged murder seeks order requiring file be submitted to DPP

A man wanted in Romania for the alleged murder of a man in Ireland is seeking a High Court order requiring the gardaí to submit a file on the case to the DPP.

Petronel Pal (36) is wanted in Romania for aggravated murder, attempt to aggravated murder and aggravated robbery at Academy Square, Navan, Co Meath on April 10, 2014. Busa Virgil (37) was allegedly assaulted there and died three days later.

Mr Pal, who is also being sought in connection with the alleged creation of an organised crime group, is currently in custody fighting his extradition, having been refused bail.

His lawyers today sought leave to bring judicial review proceedings requiring the Garda Commissioner to submit a file in relation to the alleged offences to the DPP who he says is the only authority with the power to prosecute for such crimes committed here.

The application was made on a one-side only represented basis.

Mr Justice Charles Meenan directed the application first be made on notice to the Commissioner as well as to the Minister for Justice. The judge adjourned the matter to February.

Remy Farrell SC, for Mr Pal, said this was a "somewhat unusual" matter as it is alleged the offences happened in Ireland but he has not been prosecuted here. The Romanian authorities seek his extradition on the basis he is a Romanian national.

It is claimed, in the judicial review application, he has a legitimate interest in being prosecuted here given he lived here for several years and Ireland is the centre of his interests.

His lawyers wrote to the DPP last June asking whether a file was received in relation to the death of Mr Virgil and they were told there had been no file submitted. Later, the DPP said they had received a file from the gardaí in 2016 saying they were "actively pursuing an investigation."

Further correspondence showed that at a meeting in October 2017 of the EU "Eurojust" agency - which deals with judicial co-operation between member states - it was stated representatives of Ireland and Romania were "aiming to find a solution on the best place" to prosecute the case to avoid a breach of the "double jeopardy" rule. The gardai were among three Irish representatives at the meeting.

The participants at the Eurojust meeting also agreed the Irish investigation would be suspended "pending the Romanian prosecution and trial."

Mr Petronel claims the only legal authority with the power to prosecute for a crime allegedly committed here is the DPP.

The Eurojust decision of October 2017, together with the failure of gardaí to submit a file to the DPP, amounted to an unlawful exercise of the prosecutorial function, it is claimed.

Despite further correspondence with the Garda Commissioner, Mr Petronel's lawyers were told earlier this month the matter was still receiving consideration by its legal office.

As a result, he brought High Court proceedings seeking that the Commissioner submit a file and he also seeks a declaration that the failure to do so was outside the Commissioner's powers.

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