Extradition order against Hungarian man wanted for fraud lapses

Laszlo Krisztian Kutas’ extradition sought on foot of conviction in Hungary

Sources have confirmed that the Hungarian authorities did not come to Ireland to collect Mr Kutas, who had been on bail pending his surrender, meaning the order had subsequently expired.

Sources have confirmed that the Hungarian authorities did not come to Ireland to collect Mr Kutas, who had been on bail pending his surrender, meaning the order had subsequently expired.

 

The proposed extradition of a Hungarian national wanted in his native country on fraud charges has not proceeded after the authorities there did not come to Ireland to collect him.

As a result, a High Court order directing the surrender of Dublin-based Laszlo Krisztian Kutas to the authorities in his native country has lapsed and the order against him has been discharged.

Mr Kutas’s extradition was sought on foot of his conviction in Hungary for committing fraud.

Last week the Hungarian authorities were given a deadline of midnight on Easter Monday, April 22nd last to come and collect Mr Kutas after the High Court refused an application to extend the legal time limit for when extradition is to occur.

However sources have confirmed that the Hungarian authorities did not come to Ireland to collect Mr Kutas, who had been on bail pending his surrender, meaning the order has now expired.

When contacted about the matter a spokesperson for the Minister for Justice, who last week sought to an extension of time for the High Court to allow the extradition proceed, said: “A decision to surrender an individual on foot of a European Arrest Warrant is a matter for the Courts who are independent in the discharge of their functions and accordingly it would not be appropriate for the Minister to make comment.”

In late March, Ms Justice Aileen Donnelly in her judgment made an order directing that Mr Kutas be extradited to Hungary. Under Irish law the surrender must take place within 25 of the order being made.

Following the High Court’s ruling the Hungarian authorities informed the Garda that they would send three of their police officers to collect Mr Kutas in Dublin and return with him to Budapest on April 16th last.

However shortly before the handover was due to take place, the Hungarian authorities told the Garda they could not collect him on that date, and due to factors including the Easter holidays and an inability to get suitable flights asked for an extension of the permitted time limit.

The Hungarians authorities requested that Mr Kutas’s surrender take place in early May instead.

Potential oversight

As a result of the Hungarian’s request. lawyers for the Minister for Justice made an application to the High Court for a extension of time so Mr Kutas extradition to be completed.

The application was opposed by Mr Kutas.

Ruling on the matter last week, Mr Justice Richard Humphreys said he was not satisfied to grant the extension.

The judge did not accept that events had occurred beyond the control of the Hungarian authorities that meant the extradition could not take place within the 25 days time period permitted.

While evidence had been given that the delay may have been due to an oversight the judge said the reasons advanced by the Hungarian authorities why the surrender could not take place within the 25 day period were scant and vague.

The judge also noted that gardaí had agreed within an hour of receiving the requesting state’s original proposal for the handover to take place.

The High Court previously heard that Mr Kutas is wanted in his native country for his role, along with another man, in a company that was set up to defraud Hungarian NGOs of money.

It is claimed that the fraudulent firm collected registration fees from NGOs who were invited to tender for grant aid.

It is claimed that over 560 Hungarian applicants paid registration fees to a bank account linked to the fraudulent company Mr Kutas was involved in.

After paying the fees the alleged victims, who between them lost thousands of euro, would not receive any feedback regarding their applications, were not able to contact the company or its representatives, which could not be found at its registered address.