Extradition proceedings against John ‘The Coach’ Traynor, who is suspected by Irish police of involvement in the murder of journalist Veronica Guerin, began yesterday in Amsterdam.

Traynor was arrested almost four weeks ago in the Netherlands as part of a joint British and Dutch police investigation into organized crime in Europe.

Traynor is, officially, on the run from British police after he absconded from Wandsworth Prison having been jailed for his involvement in a scam involving bearer bonds in 1992. He never served the full seven-year sentence, however. In 1992 he was released on compassionate leave to visit his wife and children in Templeogue, south Dublin, and never returned.

Traynor resumed his criminal career in Dublin, working as for notorious Dublin crime bosses such as John Gilligan and Martin Cahill.

The Irish police have never been able to move beyond suspecting Traynor’s involvement in Guerin’s death. The evidence seems to hang on his involvement with John Gilligan, who was tried but acquitted, and Brian Meehan, who is currently serving a life sentence for Guerin’s murder. 

If Traynor is extradited back to the UK, he will likely face an even stiffer prison sentence. The UK’s Ministry of Defence has said that, “Recaptured absconders will be returned to a more secure closed prison where they face either a criminal prosecution for escaping or an internal adjudication in prison in front of a visiting judge. In both cases they can receive additional time in prison on top of their existing sentence."