The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in Ireland is examining whether veteran Republican Sean Garland should be charged at home over an alleged U.S. super-dollar forgery plot.
The High Court in Dublin referred the case to the DPP after refusing an extradition request from American authorities for the 77-year-old former Workers Party president.
The U.S. Secret Service had accused Garland of conspiring to circulate high-grade counterfeit dollar bills throughout the 1990s in a plot which included North Korea, Russian spies, and the one-time leader of the Official IRA.
Justice John Edwards decided that the offense for which Garland was wanted in America was regarded as having been committed in Ireland and therefore the court was prohibited from extraditing him.
The judge said that the deeds to Garland’s house, which were in court custody, would be released along with his passport and cash bail of €75,000.
The so-called “Super Dollar” operation was allegedly carried out with the collusion of the government of North Korea.
Lawyers for Garland said, “All these allegations made by the Americans have been in the public domain for years.”
More than 110 parliamentarians from the Dail (Irish Parliament), Senate, the Northern Ireland Assembly and Westminster have supported Garland’s extradition fight, as well as the Reverend Chris Hudson, chairperson of the Stop Extradition of Sean Garland campaign.
Hudson said, “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 the country.
“It is important to re-emphasize that this has been a horrendous six-year ordeal for Sean, his family and friends.”
Garland was a former IRA leader in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He was a key figure in securing the official IRA ceasefire of May 1972.
During the 1950s IRA border campaign, an injured Garland carried Sean South from Garryowen on his shoulders in an unsuccessful attempt to save his friend’s life. South and Fergal O’Hanlon, who also died n the attack on Brookeborough Barracks, are both remembered in Republican songs.
Dublin-born Garland, who now lives in Navan, Co. Meath, heard an affidavit during the court case from Brenda Johnson, assistant U.S. attorney, in which she claimed that a co-conspirator told investigators that he purchased $250,000 of “supernotes” from “the Garland organization” which were redistributed into the world economy through currency exchanges across Europe.
Lawyers for Garland argued in court that he was accused of a trans-national conspiracy, but the charge fell under Ireland’s forgery or money laundering laws. He should therefore be tried in Ireland rather than be extradited.