Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Questions (243)

Seán Crowe

Question:

360 Mr. Crowe asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if, in view of the lengthy and unwarranted interference, including prejudicial statements, made in the run up to and during the trial process of the three Irishmen arrested in Colombia by senior military and political figures; if he has satisfied himself that the trial judge Senor Acosta should be given every assistance and sufficient space to allow him to make a just and considered decision, free from political and military interference; and if he will agree to inform the relevant Colombian authorities of his views on this important matter. [1519/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Foreign)

The judgment in the trial of the three Irishmen has not yet been delivered and it would be quite inappropriate for me, therefore, to make any comment on the case. I assure the Deputy, however, that both I and my Department have repeatedly emphasised to the Colombian authorities the importance of ensuring that the men receive a fair trial. We have also conveyed to them, while respecting the independence of the Colombian judiciary, our strong desire to see the case concluded as soon as possible.