Home » Liam Byrne’s Extradition to UK Approved by Spanish Judges
Crime News Spain

Liam Byrne’s Extradition to UK Approved by Spanish Judges

They rejected his extraordinary claim at a court hearing last month Britain’s request to hand him over should be refused because of the risk of “inhumane and degrading treatment” there.

But they did scupper the UK’s plans to put the Irishman in the dock for conspiracy to pervert the court of justice, which can carry a life sentence, by rejecting his extradition on that charge because his alleged actions wouldn’t have constituted a crime in Spain.

The conspiracy accusation relates to Britain’s claim Byrne was part of a plot orchestrated by Thomas ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh in a bid to get a reduced jail sentence on drugs charges he was facing which involved planting weapons in the North and directing authorities to find them.

The trio of judges who ruled against Byrne following his hearing at the Audiencia Nacional, Spain’s Madrid-based High Court, said they were happy to send the 41-year-old back to the UK for trial on the other 12 firearms and ammunition offences included in its extradition request.

The Drumlin-born criminal’s fate now hangs on an appeal against the decision his lawyer Jaime Campaner is expected to lodge in the coming days which will be ruled upon by more judges.

It was not immediately clear today whether ‘Bomber’s son and suspected Kinahan gang member Jack Kavanagh’s extradition had also been approved.

His separate Audiencia Nacional hearing took place straight after Byrne’s on the same day.

It later emerged Kavanagh’s legal representative is Chilean Gonzalo Boye, who was jailed for 14 years for helping terror group ETA kidnap a Spanish businessman and qualified as a lawyer while he was still behind bars.

Kavanagh, arrested at Malaga Airport on May 30th while transiting from Dubai to Turkey, watched the proceedings from a prison on the Costa del Sol.

Byrne, held on June 4th on a UK-issued international arrest warrant at a restaurant in the Majorcan town of Alcudia as he ate dinner with his children, will remain in custody at a prison near the island capital Palma while his appeal is decided.

Extradition expert Mr Campaner’s insistence his client’s wellbeing could be at risk in jail in Britain was rejected on the grounds it wasn’t specific enough and he would have recourse to an internal complaints’ system if he suffered mistreatment.

His argument the Irishman’s extradition would also violate his human rights because the only evidence against him is hacked messages on encrypted communications network Encrochat was also turned down.

The Spanish extradition judges said it was up to a UK court to decide whether it was admissible as evidence and it didn’t constitute a reason for rejection of Britain’s request.

Bryne, who flew to Majorca for a family holiday from his hideout in Dubai, is said to have taken over from ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh after his recent conviction for drugs and money-laundering offences resulted in him getting a 21-year jail sentence.

Britain’s National Crime Agency has accused both Jack Kavanagh and Liam Byrne of being involved in the alleged weapons conspiracy to get Jack’s father a reduced sentence before his conviction.

Kay Mellor, Regional Head of Investigations at the National Crime Agency said in June after the pair’s arrests in Spain: “This investigation is part of the NCA’s ongoing work targeting the Kinahan crime group.

“Liam Byrne and Jack Kavanagh have been evading justice for a number of years, but have now been arrested in relation to serious firearms offences.

“We have an excellent relationship with the Spanish National Police and will continue to work closely with our international partners to ensure those who think they can stay under the radar have no place to hide.”

Source: Breakingnews.ie