Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Ceisteanna (133)

Eric J. Byrne

Ceist:

137 Deputy Eric Byrne asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will make contact with a person (details supplied) with a view to establishing an international transfer under the Sentenced Persons Act and afford all consular rights as a matter of urgency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23108/12]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Justice and Equality)

The 1983 Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons provides a mechanism whereby prisoners can be repatriated to their home state in order to serve prison sentences they have incurred abroad. The Convention is provided for in legislation in this State by virtue of the Transfer of Sentenced Persons Acts, 1995 and 1997 and the process is administered by my Department.

The process requires extensive documentation to be exchanged between the relevant jurisdictions in order to allow an application to be fully considered. Three way consent is also required to enable any transfer to take place, i.e., from the authorities of both jurisdictions and from the person concerned. On receipt of those consents (assuming they will be forthcoming), an application must then be made to the High Court for a warrant authorising the transfer of the person concerned and their continued detention here.

I understand that an expression of interest in repatriation was received from the person referred to, in 2002. On foot of this, the US authorities were asked to commence processing the application. However the US authorities refused to consider the transfer and consequently the case was closed. Should the prisoner wish to re-apply for a transfer he must do so via his Prison Governor in the US. I can inform the Deputy that the issue of consular assistance is a matter for the Department of Foreign Affairs and this case has been brought to their attention by my officials.