Former Irish Workers' Party Leader Sean Garland, wanted in the U.S. in connection with counterfeiting money, was released on €100,000 bail in Dublin on Friday, February 13. Garland, who was arrested in Ireland on Friday, January 30, on a U.S. extradition warrant claiming he laundered millions of dollars from North Korea, was ordered by the court to surrender the deeds to his family home in Navan, Co. Meath until the extradition hearing. He was also ordered to carry a cell phone with him at all times so Gardai (police) can contact with him when necessary. Garland, 74, lodged €25,000 of his own money in cash to the court on Friday, and three other people each put up €25,000 bringing the total amount of bail to €100,000. Judge John MacMenamin, while setting the bail, took into consideration that Garland jumped bail after being arrested in Northern Ireland on the same extradition charges in 2005. U.S. authorities allege, for the second time, that Garland was involved in a massive counterfeiting operation involving almost perfect copies of U.S. dollars, so-called "superdollars." They also allege that the counterfeiting involved the government of North Korea. MacMenamin said on Friday that Garland, who suffers from diabetes and bowel cancer, wrote to his local Garda superintendent in Dublin in 2005 making himself available for an extradition to the North if sought. It is believed he wrote a similar letter to the Irish Department of Justice in 2007. However, it wasn't until the U.S. issued a second extradition warrant last December that Garland was arrested outside the Workers' Party headquarters in Dublin on January 30. Considering Garland's ailing health and the possible lengthy time an extradition procedure takes, MacMenamin told the court he did not feel it appropriate that Garland be detained in custody. Garland is to register at his local Garda station every day in person, surrender his passport and carry a cell phone at all times. Garland was elected general secretary to the Workers' Party (then known as the Official Sinn Fein) in 1977. In 2000 he was elected president of the Workers' Party and re-elected in 2006. Garland gave up the presidency in 2008 and was replaced by Mick Finnegan. Garland still remains as the party's national treasurer and a member of the party's Central Executive Committee. If extradited and convicted Garland could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Garland's case is due before the courts again this Wednesday, February 18, to determine a date for the extradition hearing. Ireland has only approved one out of the last 24 extradition requests from the U.S. Justice Department. Extraditing an Irish citizen to another country outside of the European Union is generally opposed by Ireland, often citing the U.S.'s harsher penal system as the reason.
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