Ireland-UAE extradition treaty discussed by ministers

Ireland-UAE extradition treaty discussed by ministers

Helen McEntee

Justice minister Helen McEntee this morning discussed a possible new bilateral extradition treaty with her UAE counterpart despite previous objections from human rights campaigners.

Human rights lawyer Radha Stirling, who heads up campaign group Detained in Dubai, warned in September that “any such treaty carries the implication of validating the UAE’s criminal justice system”.

There have been calls from some quarters for Ireland to follow Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands in striking an agreement with the Gulf state because members of the Kinahan cartel are understood to be living there.

In a statement, Mrs McEntee confirmed that it was among matters discussed with UAE justice minister Abdullah Bin Sultan Bin Awad Al Nuaimi in a phone call this morning.

“As ministers with responsibility for policing and security in our respective jurisdictions, we discussed ongoing co-operation between An Garda Síochána and Dubai Police, and the possibility of a bilateral treaty on extradition, mutual legal assistance and transfer of sentenced prisoners,” she said.

“Our productive conversation this morning follows the visit of Garda Commissioner Drew Harris to Dubai last month to meet with Lieutenant General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, in addition to Irish officials travelling to the UAE for high-level meetings in recent weeks.”

She continued: “Tackling organised crime is a key priority for government and is central to building safer, stronger communities. Last year, the government approved the expansion of the Garda liaison officer network, following a request from the Garda commissioner.

“This expansion created two new posts for Garda liaison officers — the first in Abu Dhabi and the second in Bangkok. These posts are in addition to existing positions situated in Madrid, Paris, London, The Hague, Washington DC and Bogota.

“The deployment of Garda liaison officers is an effective and practical form of interagency cooperation between police services. It has supported the exchange of information and the coordination of operations across borders.

“Crime is a global enterprise for many organised crime gangs and some individuals cross borders in an attempt to evade justice. We are working to build upon the positive coalitions built by An Garda Síochána to tackle transnational crime, and are determined that borders will not be barriers to effective criminal justice co-operation.”

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