An Official IRA veteran who is wanted in the U.S. for allegedly circulating North Korean forgeries of $100 bills, has won a six year battle to avoid extradition.
Sean Garland was associated wth the Official IRA, a Marxist offshoot that built up close links with communist regimes.
Dublin High Court Justice John Edwards delivered the verdict on Wednesday that he has decided against Garland’s (67) extradition. Judge Edwards said he would explain his reason on January 13.
According to the Associated Press, less than 10 percent of U.S. extradition requests are successful.
In May 2005, a Federal judge in Washington indicted Garland on charges of dealing North Korean super dollars. The U.S. Justice Department then issued an international warrant for Garland. Officials accuse him of laundering more than $250,000 of the fake notes during two 1998 trips to Moscow.
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Garland was later arrested in Northern Ireland for another misdemeanor. In October 2005, a Belfast judge granted him bail to visit his home in Navan, Co. Meath. A few weeks later, his attorney notified the lawyers that he would not return to Northern Ireland.
In 2009, Garland was arrested as a result of the U.S. warrant, but his extradition hearing was not held until mid-2011.
Trade unionist Chris Hudson leads a lobby group which is opposed to Garland's extradition.
Hudson said he has "always believed that the U.S. extradition demand was a vindictive act by the former Bush administration designed to punish and isolate North Korea and anyone who had connections with that country."
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