Extradiction of IRA member sought

Liam CampbellA court in Belfast has been told that Lithuanian authorities are seeking to extradite a convicted IRA member from Co Louth over an alleged plot to smuggle arms and explosives from Eastern Europe into Ireland.

46-year-old Liam Campbell, from Upper Faughart, near Dundalk, was detained by police in Northern Ireland after crossing the border into Bessbrook in south Armagh last Friday.

He was released without charge yesterday but immediately rearrested under the terms of the European warrant issued by the Lithuanian state last year.

After being brought before Belfast Recorder’s Court this afternoon, Mr Campbell was remanded in custody to allow Judge Tom Burgess a chance to contact Lithuanian prosecutors.

Mr Campbell’s solicitor said his client was already the subject of extradition proceedings in the Republic for the same alleged offences.

He said these were at an advanced stage and that Mr Campbell, who was out on bail, had crossed the border only to leave his wife to work.

The suspect’s car was rammed by police as he was returning to Dundalk, the court heard.

The solicitor said his client had not been trying to evade the proceedings against him in the Republic.

A barrister appearing for the Lithuanian authorities opposed bail.

He argued against a proposal from Mr Campbell’s lawyer that the PSNI should escort him to the border to be handed over to Gardaí. He said this was not allowed under the legislation.

Mr Campbell is one of five people being sued in a civil action in Belfast by relatives of some of the victims of the Omagh bomb.

Judgement in that case is expected within the next two weeks.