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First pictures Terror suspect back on Dublin streets after being released on bail despite objections

The Sunday World approached 53-year-old Madani in Firhouse, south Dublin, on Friday, just hours after his family lodged €10,000 bail

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Youcef Madani fled from France to Ireland more than 20 years ago

Youcef Madani fled from France to Ireland more than 20 years ago

Youcef Madani fled from France to Ireland more than 20 years ago

These are the first pictures of fugitive and convicted terrorist Youcef Madani back on the streets of Dublin after he was released on bail in the face of strenuous garda objections.

The Sunday World approached 53-year-old Madani - also known as Abderrahmane Yahiaoui - in Firhouse, south Dublin, on Friday, just hours after his family lodged €10,000 bail with the courts in order to secure his release from Cloverhill Prison.

But Madani, who fled to Ireland more than 20 years ago as he faced trial in France on a charge of facilitating terrorism, refused to answer questions relating to his terror conviction.

"I don't want to talk to anyone," he said.

"I am sick, I am very sick," he continued, before going inside his house and closing the door.

Madani is wanted by French authorities, having been convicted by a court in his absence in 2001 for making false documents in relation to facilitating terrorism involving weapons trafficking.

The father-of-four, who went by the name 'Abderrahmane Yahiaoui' in France when he lived there illegally, was arrested in Dublin in September when he was stopped while driving.

Detective Garda Robert Comerford, of the Extradition Unit in Dublin, told the High Court that gardaí stopped Madani when he appeared under the name of Yahiaoui on the Schengen Information System, which showed him as wanted in France.

Opposing bail, Det Gda Comerford told Elva Duffy BL, for the Minister for Justice, that he considered Madani a flight risk and that Madani was sentenced to six years in 2001, which remained in place.

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Youcef Madani at his home in Firhouse, Dublin

Youcef Madani at his home in Firhouse, Dublin

Youcef Madani at his home in Firhouse, Dublin

Detective Garda Comerford said that Madani had been convicted in his absence under the name of Yahiaoui but denied being of that name to gardaí.

However, fingerprints confirmed that Madani was Yahiaoui. Madani also admitted that he was the male in the photo provided to gardaí by French authorities.

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Madani told gardaí that he gave French authorities a false name when he lived there illegally but could not recall using the name 'Yahiaoui', said Det Gda Comerford. The detective said that Madani was an expert in false paperwork for illegals from Nigeria and that he had access to false documents.

Det Gda Comerford said that Madani had fled France either during an investigation of him or during the court process.

He said that Madani was a flight risk but had a wife and children in Ireland and had only minor road traffic convictions here.

Det Gda Comerford agreed with Ms Duffy that Madani's name had come up as such on social welfare records and on his driver's licence.

Ms Duffy told the court it was discovered that Madani was recently in the process of becoming an Irish citizen.

Madani's barrister, Maria Brosnan BL, said that while Madani was wanted on a conviction warrant he was entitled to a full retrial, according to documents received from French authorities.

Ms Brosnan said the conviction related to the years between 1996 and 1998, but it was unclear whether it was for offences committed in the Netherlands or in France. Counsel said clarification was needed on that point.

Ms Brosnan said that Madani had registered with immigration services here in 2002 and was on medical disability for partial blindness due to a cancer in his skull for which he had undergone radiological therapy.

She said that Madani's son was willing to act as an independent surety and that €10,000 could be produced. Ms Brosnan said her client had handed in his passport to gardaí and had no other travel documents.

"He handed in an up-to-date Algerian passport but specialised in false passports, so that would be my concern," said Det Gda Comerford.

Mr Justice Burns granted bail "with some reluctance". Madani will appear before the court again on October 11.

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