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Mob boss Kinahan Cartel ally 'Mr Couscous' makes legal bid to stop more criminal charges against him

The Dutch-Moroccan gangster Naoufal Fassih was arrested during a raid on a Kinahan-linked safe-house on Baggot St, Dublin, in 2016

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Naoufal Fassih leaving the Four Courts in 2016.

Naoufal Fassih leaving the Four Courts in 2016.

Naoufal Fassih leaving the Four Courts in 2016.

KINAHAN Cartel ally ‘Mr Couscous’ has had a legal case sent to the EU’s Court of Justice from the Irish Supreme Court over his extradition from Ireland.

The Dutch-Moroccan gangster Naoufal Fassih was arrested during a raid on a Kinahan-linked safe-house on Baggot St, Dublin, in 2016 and extradited to The Netherlands.

Fassih is currently serving an 18-year prison sentence there after being convicted of various offences including attempted murder.

The crime boss was extradited on foot of a European Arrest Warrant (EAW), issued by public prosecutors in Amsterdam.

He brought a challenge against a request made by the Dutch authorities for Irish permission to prosecute him on charges not in the original EAWs seeking his surrender.

Such consent is required from the surrendering state's authorities, under the laws that govern EAWs.

Following his extradition, the Court of Justice delivered judgements which held that public prosecutors in the Netherlands cannot be deemed judicial authorities.

Relying on those decisions lawyers representing Fassih claim permission for new charges in the Netherlands cannot be given by the Irish courts, as the EAW's seeking his surrender were not validly issued because they were issued by prosecutors not judges.

His action, where he claims that the Irish authorities should not give their consent, is opposed by the Minister for Justice.

Both the Irish High Court and the Court of Appeal ruled that Fassih's lawyer is prevented from making that argument because the Irish courts have already ruled on the issue.

His lawyers sought to have the Supreme Court consider his appeal against those decisions.

Having considered the issues raised a five-judge Supreme Court comprised of Mr Justice John MacMenamin, Mr Justice Peter Charleton, Ms Justice Iseult O'Malley, Ms Justice Marie Baker and Mr Justice Gerard Hogan unanimously agreed that the cases raised questions that should be determined by the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Giving the court's decision Ms Justice O'Malley said the issues in the case are complex, both in terms of EU and domestic law.

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Both sides, the judge said, had raised "strong arguments."

The CJEU has been asked to clarify issues concerning an aspect of the framework decision regarding EAWs.

The court also proposed the CJEU be requested to consider giving the matter an expedited hearing.

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