Liam Campbell cannot get a fair trial in Lithuania

Stop the extradition of Liam Campbell to Lithuaina

Liam Campbell, an alleged Real IRA leader, will argue that he cannot receive a fair trial in Lithuania because his brother’s terrorism conviction was found to have been based on entrapment.

Campbell, 54, of Upper Faughart in north Louth, who was found liable for the 1998 Omagh bomb in a civil action eight years ago, appeared in the High Court in Dublin yesterday to contest his extradition to Lithuania, where he is accused of a Real IRA plot to buy large quantities of explosives and weapons.

Brian Gageby, his barrister, told the court that he wanted an adjournment while he sought an English translation of Michael Campbell’s trial and appeal in Vilnius. Mr Gageby is preparing to argue that Liam Campbell cannot receive a fair trial, which is required under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Campbell’s brother was convicted in Lithuania in 2011 of conspiracy to buy weapons and explosives, following a joint MI5-Lithuanian police operation. Michael Campbell was jailed for twelve years but his conviction was overturned on appeal in 2013 on the grounds that he was entrapped by MI5. Liam Campbell is now seeking a transcript of that appeal to use in his case.

Since Michael Campbell returned to Ireland the highest court in Lithuania overturned the appeal, finding that the appeal court erred in putting too much weight on entrapment defence. As a result Michael Campbell may also be extradited back to Lithuania.

Judge Aileen Donnelly agreed to adjourn Liam Campbell’s case for a month yesterday to allow the state and the defence to prepare documents.

Campbell is receiving free legal aid to fight extradition, claiming that he will not get a fair trial and also that prison conditions in Lithuania are so bad that they violate Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The article prohibits extradition if there is a “substantial risk” that the person will undergo inhumane or degrading treatment.

He won on Article 3 grounds when Lithuania sought to extradite him from Northern Ireland, after which he was released by the High Court in Belfast and was rearrested in the Republic. Campbell’s co-accused, Brendan McGuigan, 36, of Omeath, Co Louth, was previously released by the High Court in Dublin, also because prison conditions in Lithuania would be a violation of his rights under Article 3.

Both men are wanted in Lithuania for allegedly organising a Real IRA explosives and weapons importation scheme. A Lithuanian arrest warrant read in court states that Campbell “made arrangements for illegal possession of a considerable amount of powerful firearms, ammunition, explosive devices and substances” to be exported from Lithuania to Ireland for use by a “terrorist grouping”.

The cargo was allegedly to include sniper rifles, rocket launchers, RPG-7 rockets, hand-grenades and Semtex explosives.

Campbell was allegedly a senior Real IRA member when the offences were committed in late 2006 and early 2007 and is alleged to have met with a British intelligence officer posing as an east European arms dealer.

with many thanks to: Irish Republican Prisoner News.

‘Patten-like reforms’ to prison service demanded in the North of Ireland the occupied six counties in the North.

Another damning report into the prison service in the North of Ireland!

Southern politicians speak after jail visit.

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THERE have been calls for “Patten-like reforms” in the north’s prison service (Protestant jobs for Protestant boys) after a cross-party group of politicians from the Republic visited Maghaberry Prison.

The group, which included former Fianna Fail minister Eamon O Cuiv, met several republican prisoners held permanently in Maghaberry’s punishment block, known as the Care and Supervision Unit (CSU). Mr O Cuiv, along with Independent Donegal TD Thomas Pringle, Fianna Fail senators Jim Walsh and Mary White, Fine Gael TD Frank Feighan, Independant TD Maureen O’Sullivan and United Left Alliance TD Clare Daly, later held a press conference at Belfast’s Europa Hotel. Tensions at Maghaberry have been high in recent months amid complaints from republicans that authorities have reneged on a deal to end strip-searches. In November 2012 inmates on the Roe 4 wing ended an 18-month ‘no wash’ protest days after the ‘IRA’ shot dead prison officer David Black as he travelled to work along the M1 near Lurgan, Co Armagh. Mr Pringle claimed prisoners in the CSU are held under “degrading and inhumane conditions”. “This situation can’t be allowed to continue and it has to end and prisoners have to treated with some dignity and sense of respect for their human rights,” he said. Mr Pringle described a previous meeting with justice minister David Ford to try to deal with some of the issues as a “waste of time”. Mr O Cuiv said he was “shocked” by allegations that some prisoners held in the CSU are being approached by MI5 to become informers. He said the “daily regime” described by the five republican inmates in the CSU,  which includes 23-hour lock-ups, is “horrendous”. Ms Daly said reforms similar to the Patten changes to policing are required to overhaul the prison service. “The prison workforce come primarily from one side of the community and that is unsustainable in the long term,” she said. A spokesman for the service said:  “The separated regime is subject to considerable scrutiny from outside bodies and, whilst some of the issues raised on this occasion are not for the prison service, all complaints by, and on behalf of, prisoners are properly investigated.”

With many thanks to: Connla Young, The Irish News, for the origional story.