Garland must prove he won't skip bail12/02/2009 - 13:08:41
A former Workers Party leader wanted in the United States over a massive dollar counterfeiting racket must prove he will not flee Ireland if he is to be given bail, a High Court judge warned him today.
Sean Garland was again remanded in custody after Judge John McMenamin demanded his passport, banking statements and the deeds to his home.
The judge also asked to see details of all assets available to both Garland and his wife.
The 74-year-old veteran republican is wanted for questioning by American authorities about the large-scale forgery of almost perfect US dollars – dubbed “super-dollars” – almost two decades ago, in an operation allegedly involving the North Korean government.
The suspected conspiracy to undermine the currency by distributing millions of counterfeit $100 (€78) notes worldwide sparked a three-year investigation by the CIA, the FBI, the Pentagon and the US State Department.
Garland was arrested in Dublin almost two weeks ago in a second attempt by the US to extradite him.
The Attorney General and gardaí object to his bail application because he skipped bail from the North in 2005, when arrested there over a US extradition order made through the UK.
After a request from Judge McMenamin about the availability of electronic tracking devices, Sergeant Martin O’Neill of the Garda Extradition Unit said there was no such technology yet available in Ireland.
The British Home Office told him it was available in the UK through two security companies but could not be offered on a one-off basis.
Sgt O’Neill objected to bail but said if it were to be granted he would want to see three independent sureties in the region of €75,000.
Judge McMenamin said it was up to Garland and his legal team to submit a convincing case by tomorrow that he would not abscond again.
But he stressed he was not giving any indication of what his thinking was about the bail application by seeking more information.
Garland, who lives in Brownstown, Navan, Co Meath, with his wife and daughter, previously claimed it would be “suicide” if he skipped bail as he is being treated for two types of cancer, a heart condition and diabetes.
Now national treasurer of the Workers’ Party, he helped steer the Official IRA away from violence and towards Marxism when it split from the Provos at the start of the Troubles.
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