herald

Saturday 23 September 2017

Spanish court will extradite 'Lucky' Wilson

SPANISH authorities have agreed to extradite motorbike assassin Eric 'Lucky' Wilson to Ireland.

The convicted killer has been told he is wanted back home for crimes of assault, possession of firearms and possession of stolen goods.

Wilson, from Ballyfermot, Dublin, has already been questioned by gardai in a Spanish prison about a string of unsolved gangland contract killings in Ireland thought to include those of Paul Reay in 2006 and Roy Coddington in 2007.

News of the extradition request emerged as the 28-year-old went on trial in Spain over a weapons cache discovered at his rented Costa del Sol farmhouse following his June 2010 arrest for the murder of a British expat.

He is already serving a 23-year jail sentence after being found guilty of the brutal bar killing last July.

It is believed Wilson was responsible for up to 11 gangland murders in Ireland during his career as a hitman for hire.

He shot expat Brit Dan Smith eight times from close range after racing home on his motorbike to fetch a gun following a drunken row over a girl.

Prosecutors want him jailed for another nine years if he is convicted of possessing explosives and other weapons of war. He has pleaded innocent.

The extradition bombshell opened up the possibility last night that Wilson might be hauled back to Ireland for a trial before being returned to Spain to serve out his jail time.

The Irishman opposed extradition in a hearing before a judge at Spain's Central Criminal Court after he was transferred under armed guard from his jail near Malaga to a prison on the outskirts of Madrid.

But the court agreed to extradite him after reviewing evidence provided by courts in Ireland which formed the basis of a European Arrest warrant issued against Wilson last summer.

He is understood to be wanted back in Ireland on three counts of possession of firearms, two counts of possession of stolen goods including stolen money and one count of assault.

The courts involved are in Dublin, Carlow and Portlaoise. No mention of the extradition was made during yesterday's trial.

A source close to the case said: "Spain's Central Criminal Court has approved Wilson's extradition despite his opposition.

"The court granted him bail after an extradition hearing in Madrid but it was just a legal formality because he is a serving prisoner in Spain and so won't in practice be allowed that bail.

"What it does mean is that he may be returned to Ireland."

hnews@herald.ie

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