Thursday, 12 May 2011
Dáil Éireann Debate
113. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will provide details of the options available to the Garda and the Director of Corporate Enforcement to ensure they have access to any person abroad wanted for questioning in connection with the banking investigations currently under way; the position regarding the extradition of any such person to Ireland for questioning or for any subsequent prosecution concerning these matters. [11055/11]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Section 62 of the Act provides, inter alia, that assistance may be sought by a judge or the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in obtaining a statement of evidence for the purposes of criminal proceedings or a criminal investigation.Both the courts and the DPP are independent in the exercise of their functions and, as Minister for Justice and Equality, I have no function in deciding to seek assistance in a particular case. I can assure the Deputy, however, that my Department — which acts as the Irish Central Authority for Mutual Assistance in criminal matters — works closely with authorities in other states in securing assistance expeditiously where assistance has been sought.
The European Arrest Warrant Act 2003, which became law on 1 January 2004, gives effect to the European Union Council Framework Decision of 13 June 2002 on the European Arrest Warrant and the surrender procedures between Member States.It puts in place simplified procedures for the surrender of persons between the Member States of the EU. Under the provisions of the Act, a court may, upon application made by or on behalf of the DPP, issue a European Arrest Warrant in respect of a person where it is satisfied, inter alia, that a domestic warrant has been issued for the arrest of that person but has not been executed and the person may not be in the State. As previously stated, both the courts and the DPP are independent in the exercise of their functions and, as Minister for Justice and Equality, I have no function in the making of such an application.
In relation to a person outside the EU, a request for extradition can only arise where the DPP has decided that an individual should be prosecuted in the first instance. The decision to seek the extradition of a person charged with a criminal offence in this State rests with the DPP.
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