Judge queries UK on post-Brexit extradition rules over case of Limerick man

ireland
Counsel said that the UK was no longer subject to the EU framework agreement, which underpins the European Arrest Warrant Act.
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Paul Neilan

A High Court judge will write to UK authorities for clarification on post-Brexit extradition law in the case of a man wanted there for murder by allegedly "deliberately" running down another man driving his scooter.

Limerick man Keith Anthony McCarthy (40) is wanted in the UK for the alleged murder of Kerrin Repman (29) in Essex last year. Mr Repman was killed on April 15th in Harwich when his motorbike was hit by a BMW.

Mr McCarthy, who is also known as Keith Galvin, is also accused of grievous bodily harm with intent to a 79-year-old pensioner, who suffered multiple broken limbs.

Ms Caroline Cummings BL, for the Minister for Justice, said that the charge was murder because Mr McCarthy was accused of "murder with a motor vehicle of a man on a scooter where the rider was deliberately killed".

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Upon conviction, both charges carry a life sentence, she told Mr Justice Paul Burns.

European arrest warrant

A European Arrest Warrant (EAW) was issued for Mr McCarthy on 27 November last and he was arrested five days later in Midlands Prison, where he is serving a separate sentence.

Mr Brian Storan BL, responding, said his client was legally "caught between two stools" in that Mr McCarthy had been arrested at a time when the UK was still in the EU and subject to the then Withdrawal Agreement.

Mr Storan said that his client, should he be surrendered to the UK, would now be going to "a new entity" after the completion of Brexit on December 31st and counsel told the court that he wanted assurances about his client's rights.

Counsel said that Mr McCarthy claimed he had also been "subject to indirect threats on social media from nefarious persons in the UK".

Mr Storan said that the EAW Act "does not apply to the new [post-Brexit Trade] agreement" between the EU and the UK and that his client was "in limbo".

Counsel said that the UK was no longer subject to the EU framework agreement which underpins the EAW Act.

Post-Brexit rules

He said that the superior courts in Ireland also relied on the framework document and that the document between the EU and the UK worked as a "symbiotic" one.

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There was no reason, counsel added, to believe that the human rights of his client would be breached but that there was "no answer" in writing to say that other rights were protected.

Mr Storan sought clarification on two matters: whether or not his client could be charged with other alleged crimes if surrendered and whether Mr McCarthy would receive a reduction in any possible sentence in the UK for time already served in custody in Ireland arising from the EAW.

Counsel said it would be "unfair or unjust to surrender [Mr McCarthy] under a system no longer in place."

Ms Cummings said that the UK had given an international commitment to operate the Extradition Act as if it were still a member and that it was still party to the European Convention of Human Rights.

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She said that, irrespective of leaving the EU, the UK had incorporated the extradition act into UK law.

Counsel added that the framework had also been "re-stated in the Trade Agreement" that now exists between the EU and the UK.

Mr Storan said that he could not be pointed to the exact wording guaranteeing his client on both matters and said there was a "glaring lacuna" present.

Mr Justice Burns said that clarification would be sought from UK authorities regarding Mr Storan's concerns, and he remanded Mr McCarthy in custody to February 16.

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