| 16.1°C Dublin

Hutch and go Extradition of Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch to be carried out in 'utmost secrecy'

Sources at Spain’s National Police confirmed yesterday they will not be accompanying Hutch back to Ireland and will leave that leg of the trip to their Garda colleagues.

Close

Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch

Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch

Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch

SPANISH police have been getting ready to assist in the extradition of Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch with their Irish counterparts so he can be “safely and securely” returned to Dublin to stand trial for murder.

The task of co-ordinating the gang boss’s handover has been entrusted to Spain and Ireland’s national Sirene Bureaux.

Officials at the bureaux, which are operational 24 hours a day and seven days a week, will have to come up with a flight plan which will address factors such as Hutch’s dangerousness and escape risk as well as the well-known threats to his life.

Spanish police will be responsible for taking him from tough Soto del Real prison where he is currently being held to a previously-agreed handover location before Garda take responsibility for the high-profile prisoner.

Sources at Spain’s National Police confirmed yesterday they will not be accompanying Hutch back to Ireland and will leave that leg of the trip to their Garda colleagues.

Each EU country operating the Schengen Information System (SIS), a governmental database maintained by the European Commission, has set up a national SIRENE Bureau.

Their tasks include validating alerts for people wanted on arrest and coordinating cross-border activities related to SIS alerts.

Well-placed insiders said the operation to extradite Hutch would be carried out “in the utmost secrecy.”

The National Police source said: “The Sirene Bureau in Spain will act in a coordinated way with the Sirene Bureau in Ireland to finalise everything related to the flight plan and any supplementary information that might be related to any illnesses a wanted person might have or his level of dangerousness.

“Once the flight plan is in place, the Spanish National Police coordinate with Spanish Prison Service officials a person’s collection from prison where he or she is in prison.

“The job of coordinating the return starts from the moment police receive a copy of the Handover Document issued by the extradition court.

“It would be reckless for any police force anywhere to offer any information on the handover before it occurs which is why these extraditions take place in maximum secrecy.

“Spanish officers won’t be travelling to Ireland. Where Spain has requested the extradition of a fugitive, our officers will travel to the country that person was arrested in and bring him or her back.

“But when we’re doing the handing over, the police from the country requesting the extradition will come to Spain which in this case will be the Garda. That’s the standard procedure.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

“Obviously issues like the handover point are agreed beforehand but obviously we can’t let a foreign police force go and collect a prisoner from a Spanish jail.

“The Irish will take the lead when it comes to deciding on the way they get this man from Spain back to Ireland in this case.

“The Spanish police part is in theory the simplest part because it’s the transfer from prison to the point of handover.

“The other part which is the return to Ireland in this case is potentially the more complicated bit.”

The source added: “It’s impossible to put a timeframe on things like this but as far as the authorities in Spain are concerned, the sooner the handover takes place the better.

“When we were at the height of the coronavirus pandemic and there were less flights, there were more complications around the execution of extraditions but things are back to being more simple now.”

Close

Spanish police swoop on Gerry Hutch, who was with his wife at the time.

Spanish police swoop on Gerry Hutch, who was with his wife at the time.

Spanish police swoop on Gerry Hutch, who was with his wife at the time.

Another well-placed insider added: “The decision will be based on factors such as a prisoner’s dangerousness, the risk of escape which arguably is greater where we’re talking about people who are deemed to be members or leaders of criminal gangs, and the risk of other people wanting to harm them where threats are known to have been made against their lives.

“It’s not the same obviously extraditing a serial killer or a gangland boss as it is a burglar or fraudster. Each case is different because the risks and level of danger are different.”

Prisoners arrested on European Arrest Warrants are commonly returned to the countries seeking to try them on commercial flights.

The motorway trip from Soto del Real jail where Hutch is being held to Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suarez Airport takes just over half an hour.

It emerged on Monday the Dubliner had lost his fight against extradition to Ireland where he is expected to face trial for murder over the February 2016 Regency Hotel attack.

Three Spanish judges threw out his appeal against an earlier decision to approve his forced return.

But they said he must be allowed to serve his sentence in Spain if he is convicted because he has proved he is a Spanish resident who has work and family ties to the country.

Hutch, who has spent several years based in Lanzarote, had asked for permission to do his time in Spain after being arrested last month and appearing in court, but his application was refused by the first judge in his initial extradition hearing.

He was held by an elite Civil Guard unit at a restaurant near his apartment hideaway in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol on August 12.

A Spanish police officer terminated Gerry’s four months on the run after Ireland made him a wanted man in April by telling him: “Hi Gerry, Guardia Civil. This is the end. You’re under arrest.”

The ruling on his appeal challenging his extradition was made on September 14 by three judges at the First Section of the Criminal Appeals Panel of the Audiencia Nacional court in Madrid.

Hutch tried to escape extradition to Ireland by claiming in his appeal he had decided to become a full-time resident in Spain because of the threats to his life.

The captured fugitive insisted he had legally changed his residency status and paid his taxes in Spain “without trying to hide”.

He claimed through lawyers the threat to his life gave Spanish authorities the right to refuse the Irish application to have him sent back to Dublin.

And he even insisted the court in Ireland seeking his extradition has no “competent jurisdiction” to try him.

The convicted armed robber also called the European Arrest Warrant that resulted in his capture “strange” and claimed police had tried and failed on three separate occasions beforehand to get him sent back to Ireland.

Hutch also tried to justify the fact he was carrying fake Croatian ID with another person's name but his photo on it when he was arrested by claiming in a written submission prepared by his legal team: “This is down to the threats hanging over him.”

The detention in Spain of Gerry Hutch on a European Arrest Warrant is in connection with the 2016 killing of David Byrne.

Police investigating the shooting on 5 February 2016 at the Regency Hotel in Whitehall, Dublin, say one line of enquiry is that it was a retaliation killing after Gerry Hutch’s nephew Gary Hutch was gunned down by his Costa del Sol home in September 2015.

The organised armed attack took place during a weigh-in for a boxing match between Jamie Kavanagh and Antonio João Bento before the fight at Dublin's National Stadium.

At least four attackers wearing masks, army style-helmets and flak jackets, stormed the building as well as two who were disguised as members of the Garda and armed with AK-47s at around 2.30pm.

An associate of the Kinahan cartel drug gang, David Byrne, 34, was shot dead as he ran towards the hotel lobby.

The intended target is thought to have been Daniel Kinahan, the son of Dublin drug dealer Christy Kinahan, but he had left early.

The attackers escaped in a Ford Transit van which was later found burnt-out.

On 18 May 2016 Patrick Hutch, the brother of Gary Hutch, was charged at the Criminal Courts of Justice with the murder of David Byrne.

He always insisted he was innocent and after pleading not guilty to Mr Bryne's murder, walked free from the Special Criminal Court in Dublin in February 2019 after all charges against him were dropped by the State.

To date, nobody has been convicted of David Byrne's death.


Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Privacy