Man found civilly liable for Omagh bomb claims his rights were breached

Liam Campbell appealing order to extradite him to Lithuania on arms charges

Liam Campbell (58), Upper Faughart, Dundalk, Co Louth, is currently awaiting the outcome of a Court of Appeal decision against a High Court order last June for his extradition. Photograph:  Courtpix

Liam Campbell (58), Upper Faughart, Dundalk, Co Louth, is currently awaiting the outcome of a Court of Appeal decision against a High Court order last June for his extradition. Photograph: Courtpix

 

A man found civilly liable for the Omagh bombing has claimed failures relating to an EU legal framework have breached his rights as he awaits the outcome of his appeal over an order to extradite him to Lithuania to answer international arms trafficking charges.

Liam Campbell (58), Upper Faughart, Dundalk, Co Louth, is currently awaiting the outcome of a Court of Appeal decision against a High Court order last June for his extradition.

The Lithuanian authorities allege that while acting in an organised terrorist group, the Real Irish Republican Army (RIRA), he made arrangements to acquire a substantial number of arms and explosives from Lithuania and smuggle them into Ireland.

It is further alleged that during the end of 2006 to 2007, Campbell “made arrangements with Seamus McGreevy, Michael Campbell [his brother], Brendan McGuigan and other unidentified persons to travel to Lithuania for the purposes of acquiring firearms and explosives, including, automatic rifles, sniper rifles, projectors, detonators, timers and trotyl [TNT] ”.

Third attempt

He was arrested in Dundalk on December 2nd, 2016, on foot of a second European Arrest Warrant issued by Lithuanian authorities. It was the third attempt by Lithuania to seek his surrender.

Last May, while a decision on the High Court extradition was awaited, he brought a separate challenge against Ireland and the Attorney General, claiming his rights under EU law and the charter of fundamental rights had been infringed by a failure to transpose certain EU framework directives into Irish law.

The defendants denied the claims and said he failed to show he had an enforceable right that has been breached.

On Wednesday, Mr Justice Paul Coffey said he would give judgment later.

Mr Campbell has sought court declarations including there was a failure to transpose into domestic law a 2008 framework decision governing the transfer of a prisoner to another state to serve a portion of his sentence.

He claims failure to transpose a 2009 decision on mutual recognition to decisions on supervision measures as an alternative to provisional detention, which covers the question of being remanded on bail.

As a result, his fundamental charter rights to liberty and security (article 6) and to respect for private and family life (article 7) have been breached, he contends.

The State has argued the 2009 decision is currently being transposed in the Criminal Justice (Mutual Recognition of Decisions on Supervision Act) 2020 and is expected to be enacted in the near future. Therefore Mr Campbell has not been detrimentally affected and his rights have not been infringed, the defendants claim.

In relation to the 2008 decision, the defendants claim it did not create any obligation on Lithuania to pass a structured sentence on an Irish citizen that would give that citizen any right to be transferred back here to serve a sentence.

Following submissions from Remy Farrell SC, for Mr Campbell, and Garnet Orange SC, for the defendants, Mr Justice Coffey reserved judgment.

The issue of whether the matter should be referred to the European Court of Justice would have to be the subject of another hearing, the judge added.