Monday, December 09, 2013

A judge will not decide until after Christmas whether to extradite two men wanted the Netherlands in connection with the death of a man whose body was found inside a suitcase in an Amsterdam canal.

Dutch authorities are seeking the surrender of Kenneth Brunell (aged 27) from Palmerstown and Barry McArdle (aged 27) from Drimnagh, who were arrested on foot of extradition warrants issued in 2011.

The men are wanted to face trial in connection with the death of Keith Ennis (aged 29) from Walkinstown, who was on the run from gardaíi at the time.

His body parts were dumped in a suitcase in a canal on the northern outskirts of Amsterdam after he was stabbed to death.

A third man, Philip County (aged 31) from Foxdene Gardens in Lucan was extradited to the Netherlands from Ireland in April 2011.

Today, Mr Patrick McGrath SC making submissions to the court on behalf of Mr McArdle said there was an abuse of process on the part of Dutch prosecutors who had drafted an prosecution instead of an investigation in order to secure an extradition.

He told the court there was no remedy to protect the respondents from an abuse of process.

Mr McGrath said that the lack of remedy to protect the men from the Dutch prosecutor was "quite surprising".

He said it was a very unusual case and that he had "not come across a case where a prosecutor is so in control of the process".

"Here you have an entire absence of independence and an entire absence of scrutiny," said Mr McGrath.

Ms Siobhan Stack SC for the State said there clearly has been a decision to charge and try the men by the Dutch prosecutor.

Mr Justice John Edwards said Mr McGrath was making the case that in truth there had been no decision to charge and try and the Dutch prosecutor "knows this is the only way he can get these gentlemen back".

Ms Stack said if the men were to be tried "in what sense is the High Court's process being abused?"

"There is a hazy allegation here about wrongdoing," said Ms Stack.

Mr Justice Edwards thanked the parties for their submissions but said there would be no decision made on whether to surrender the men until after Christmas.

The judge remanded both men in custody until January 14 next when the case will be mentioned again.

Ms Anne-Marie Lawlor BL for Mr Brunell told the court that her client might make an application for bail in the meantime.

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