Lawyer argues Irish man facing rape charges in UK shouldn't be extradited due to Brexit

Lawyer argues Irish man facing rape charges in UK shouldn't be extradited due to Brexit

A man's extradition to the UK on sexual assault charges should be refused because of the Brexit vote, a lawyer has told the High Court

The case concerns a 78-year-old Irish man, who is wanted to face prosecution in the UK on ten alleged offences including rape, attempted rape, indecent assault and indecency of a child alleged to have been committed in the Camden area of London as well as Essex on dates between 1960 and 1973.

The south Dublin man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, denies the allegations, contending that they are “scurrilous” and “totally groundless”.

He was arrested by gardaí last October on foot of a European Arrest Warrant issued by a Westminster Magistrates Court in September 2015 and has been on bail since that date.

At today's hearing, the man's barrister, Patrick Gageby SC, told the court that there "isn't any doubt" about the UK leaving the EU. 

"Mr Cameron and Ms May have committed to exit," he said. "Both the EU and the UK have nominated able candidates to negotiate same."

Mr Gageby said that the the court can give no assurance whether his client's trial would be pre- or post-Brexit. 

"It cannot be assured the trial will be pre-Brexit," he said, adding that there was "a real risk it won't occur pre-Brexit". 

The barrister said that the court ought to refuse the surrender of the man.

Counsel for the Minister of Justice, Ronan Kennedy BL, said that Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty "has not even been invoked". 

The court must exercise jurisdiction on the basis that the UK is a member of the EU, he said, adding that the UK is required to abide by EU treaties. 

"The court is aware that the UK is a signatory to the EU Convention on Human Rights," Mr Kennedy told the court. 

He said that it is to "enter into the realm of speculation when Article 50 hasn't even been invoked".

"What Mr Gageby refers to as a commitment by Mr Cameron and Ms May that the UK will at some time leave the EU, it is unclear when that will occur," Mr Kennedy said, before adding that it seemed "unlikely" that Article 50 will be invoked in the immediate future.

After listening to the arguments, Ms Justice Aileen Donnelly said that she would reserve judgement in the case until October 14th.