Over 220 EU arrest warrants received in 2013

Principal offences cited included murder, grievous bodily harm and sexual offences including rape and sexual abuse of children

Of the 69 warrants issued by Ireland during 2013, 40 resulted in surrenders to Ireland. File photograph: Frank Millar/The Irish Times

Of the 69 warrants issued by Ireland during 2013, 40 resulted in surrenders to Ireland. File photograph: Frank Millar/The Irish Times

Thu, Apr 10, 2014, 17:28

Ireland received 223 arrest warrants from European Union countries for individuals suspected of crimes including murder, rape and drugs offences in 2013, according to figures released today by the Department of Justice.

Of those issued in 2013, 157 warrants resulted in the surrender of individuals to other member states of the EU. This figure compares to 313 arrest warrants received and 149 surrendered to other EU member countries in 2012.

Of the warrants issued last year, 54.7 per cent (122) were issued by Polish authorities, 16.59 per cent (37) were issued by authorities in the UK, 4.48 per cent (10) were issued each by Italy, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia.

Of the warrants issued by authorities in the UK, the department pointed out that 11 were for individuals from Northern Ireland.

Ireland issued 69 warrants during 2013, 40 of which resulted in surrenders. This compares to 88 warrants issued by Ireland in 2012, of which 52 resulted in surrenders.

The majority of warrants issued last year by Ireland were for individuals in the UK (50) , Spain (4) and the Netherlands (3).

According to the Department of Justice, a wide range of offences were cited in the warrants received during 2013. Among the principal offences cited were murder, grievous bodily harm, sexual offences including rape and sexual abuse of children, drugs offences, robbery, assault, fraud and human trafficking.

The latest figures are contained in the Department of Justice’s annual report on the operation of the European Arrest Warrant Act.

The act provides for a speedy extradition process within the EU. Each member country is required to recognise, with a minimum of formalities, requests for the surrender of a person made by the judicial authority of another member state.

Since the European Arrest Warrant Act came into operation on 1 January 2004, 907 orders for surrender have been executed by the State.