Gerry, former Bugsy Malone, AKA The Monk is coming back to Dublin, the Hunt for Hutch is over, now its the Irish Courts???

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Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch loses fight against extradition to Ireland to face trial for murder

 28th September 2021


Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch has lost his fight against extradition to Ireland to face trial for murder.

However Spanish judges have ruled that if he is convicted in Ireland, he will be allowed to return to Spain to serve any sentence.

Hutch tried to avoid extradition to Ireland by claiming in his appeal against an earlier decision approving his return to Ireland that he had decided to become a full-time resident in Spain because of threats to his life.

The captured fugitive, who has spent most of the past decade in Lanzarote, insisted he had legally changed his residency status and paid his taxes in Spain “without trying to hide”.

He insisted through lawyers the threat to his life gave Spanish authorities the right to refuse the Irish application to have him sent back to Dublin.

And he insisted the court in Ireland seeking his extradition has no “competent jurisdiction” to try him.

The convicted armed robber, facing a murder trial over the February 2016 Regency Hotel attack in Dublin, also called the European Arrest Warrant that resulted in his capture “strange” and claimed police had tried and failed on three separate occasions beforehand to get him sent back to Ireland.

Hutch also tried to justify the fact he was carrying fake Croatian ID with another person’s name and photo on it when he was arrested by claiming in a written submission prepared by his legal team: “This is down to the threats hanging over him.”

The Irishman’s attempts to wriggle out of extradition were laid bare in a six-page judicial ruling made public today, although the document stated the decision had been taken by three judges on September 14.

Lead judge Manuela Fernandez Prado, the president of the trio of judges who took the decision in the First Section of the Criminal Appeals Panel of the Audiencia Nacional court in Madrid, said: “The legal representatives of the wanted man alleged four main points in their appeal.

“One was that it was strange that between February 2016 and March 2021 Gerard Hutch was not made the subject of a European Arrest Warrant (EAW)

“On three occasions the police tried to request his extradition but this was rejected.”

Appearing to redact the arguments put forward by Hutch’s lawyer in her own words, the ruling stated: “The wanted man received death threats according to the police and as a result changed his residency to Spain legally, receiving a residency ID card and paying his appropriate taxes, without trying to hide.

Having received death threats he could have asked the Irish authorities for permission to testify in Spain, according to the Principle of Mutual Recognition in EU law.

“When the defence became aware of this threat it made the court aware, as this constitutes a motive to refuse the extradition request, since its execution would imply a violation of article six of the EU treaty, by which no-one can be handed over to a country seeking another’s extradition where they face grave risk or the risk of being submitted to inhuman and degrading treatment.

The third point is that the handover is being requested by Special Criminal Court No1 in Dublin, which is not the competent court to try these allegations, an extradition request that has been issued after another court refused three times to issue the EAW.

“The wanted man has his legal residence in Spain, which he has justified with documentation, has his own home he owns in Spain, work and family including his wife and children. And if he was found to be carrying documentation from Croatia with another identity and his photo on it that’s down to the threats that were hanging over him.”

His defence team’s claims were mostly rebuffed by the three judges, although they consented to making it a condition of his handover to Ireland that he was returned to Spain and allowed to serve his prison sentence here if he ends up being convicted of murder after trial in Dublin.

The judges added in their ruling: “It’s possible Gerard Hutch has been the subject of threats and may fear he could suffer reprisals of some sort, but not from the police or other security forces of the state that is requesting his return, but from the alleged victim’s circle.

“This risk cannot serve as the basis for the refusal of a handover which would entail impunity on what is a very serious matter.

“The risk that the defence team is alluding to in article six of the EU treaty is that coming from the state authorities. This is not the case here.”

It said Mr Justice Paul Burns, a judge of the High Court of Ireland, had signed the extradition order issued by the Special Criminal Court on March 24 this year and had noted on the certificate accompanying the order it was the “competent judicial authority”.

Justifying the fact it had conditioned the handover to Hutch’s return to Spain after any conviction to serve his sentence in Spain and not Ireland, the judges ruled: “All the factors that enable the establishment of the existence of an ‘emotional bond’ to this country, such as family, work and social ties, have to be considered.

“Gerard Hutch has justified the fact he is a resident of Spain, with a NIE or Foreigners’ Number, and pays taxes here, all in his own name.

He has relevant working ties to Spain which have been in place for a number of years.

“So there is no reason to refuse the imposition of the condition that, were he to be convicted, he should be returned to Spain, to serve his prison sentence in this country.”

The judges also made it clear Hutch had exhausted his legal options in Spain by stating in the last par of the six-page document: “Against this ruling there is no appeal possible.”

It was not immediately clear when Hutch’s defence team had been informed and when Hutch was advised at his prison cell in the Soto del Real jail near Madrid.

Police have yet to comment on when they will take him back to Ireland and how the operation will be carried out, and whether gardaí will travel to Spain to get Hutch or whether Spanish Civil Guard officers will accompany him on a flight from Madrid to Dublin.

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