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High Court rejects Italy's request to extradite woman wanted on drugs charges

CourtsBy Sunday World
High Court rejects Italy's request to extradite woman wanted on drugs charges

The High Court has rejected a request from Italy to extradite a mother-of-six alleged to be a drug importer.

Aisha Ahmed (49), AKA Gloria Anwulika Aro (47), was arrested at her home at Sundale Parade, Tallaght, Dublin 24, in 2014, on foot of a European Arrest Warrant issued by the Italian authorities, who had been looking for the Nigerian native for several years.

The arrest warrant alleged that Ms Ahmed had the role of “promoter, leader and organiser” in an association that imported, sold, distributed and traded “remarkable quantities” of cocaine at locations in Italy between 1999 and 2000.

Ms Ahmed was convicted "in absentia" in 2005 and the Court of Naples later sentenced her to 20 years in prison.

During previous hearings, the court heard that Ms Ahmed initially claimed to have been arrested in a case of mistaken identity. She had given her name as Gloria Aro and her date of birth as being in December 1967, and supplied an Irish passport to that effect.

At a subsequent bail hearing, however, Ms Ahmed admitted it was her name on the arrest warrant. 

Last October, lawyers for Ms Ahmed told the court that she had not been made aware of an alleged scheduled trial and that notice had been served on her defence lawyer, which fell short of the requirements for extradition.

Today, Ms Justice Aileen Donnelly said that Ms Ahmed's surrender was prohibited by the terms of the European Arrest Warrant Act of 2003, as amended. 

Ms Ahmed had been on bail on a bond of €1,000, the court heard. 

Ms Justice Donnelly ordered that her bail money be paid back.

Daniel Hickey