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Convicted killer who is wanted in Netherlands remanded in custody

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Barry McArdle was arrested on foot of a warrant in Galway

Barry McArdle was arrested on foot of a warrant in Galway

Barry McArdle was arrested on foot of a warrant in Galway

A convicted killer sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment in his absence in the Netherlands was refused bail yesterday by the High Court pending an extradition hearing.

Barry McArdle (34), from Drimnagh, was arrested on foot of a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) in Galway on July 1, having been released from custody last year after an earlier warrant seeking his extradition to the Netherlands was found to be invalid.

McArdle was originally sentenced to two years' imprisonment for disposing of the body of Dubliner Keith Ennis (29), following a trial in the Netherlands in 2017.

Acquitted

As McArdle had effectively served all of that sentence while on remand at various times, he was immediately released and returned to Ireland.

In the same trial, he was acquitted of stabbing Mr Ennis in Rotterdam in 2009.

However, Dutch authorities successfully appealed McArdle's acquittal on the charge of manslaughter, and he was sentenced to 12 years and three months in prison in his absence by the Amsterdam Court of Appeal on May 17, 2018.

An EAW now deemed to be invalid was issued in respect of McArdle in January last year.

However, last July, the High Court refused to surrender him on the basis that the warrant was invalid and he was immediately released.

The court heard the warrant had been issued by the Dutch public prosecutor, who was not a sufficiently independent authority in accordance with EU law.

Ms Justice Tara Burns said she would refuse the surrender of McArdle and directed his release before he walked free from court.

On July 1, McArdle was arr- ested on foot of an EAW at his home in Galway and sought bail yesterday at the High Court.

At yesterday's hearing, Det Gda Eoin Kane, of the Garda Extradition Unit, told counsel for the State, Caroline Cummings, that McArdle was a flight risk.

Det Gda Kane gave evidence that McArdle had 19 previous convictions, including possession of €1m of diamorphine for the purpose of sale or supply.

He said McArdle had failed to answer bail previously and had "gone to ground" to avoid arrest in relation to a previous case.

He had also failed to attend appointments at the Department of Social Protection and had only re-engaged with it at the beginning of the year.

Under cross-examination, Det Gda Kane agreed with Brian Gageby, for McArdle, that his solicitor had written to him on January 30 to make himself available and had since handed over his passport.

Mr Gageby said his client had had a section of his bowel removed and now carries around a colostomy bag.

He cannot lift anything heavier than a kettle and is more grounded because of his health difficulties, he said.

Returning judgment, Mr Justice Paul Burns said McArdle was sought by the Netherlands to serve a "substantial sentence" of 12 years and three months.

The defendant was a convicted person who did not enjoy the presumption of innocence and he had previously engaged in "evasion techniques".

Concerns

Referring to McArdle, the judge said he had emphasised in his affidavit that there had been a change of circumstances - that he was recently married, had a medical condition and co-operated with gardai.

However, Mr Justice Burns said his family circumstances were not that different from before and he had failed in the past to attend court.

Taking into account all the evidence, the judge said the State had satisfied the court on the balance of probabilities that McArdle was a flight risk.

Furthermore, Mr Justice Burns said he was not satisfied that terms and conditions could be set for bail, which would allay the court's concerns.

Rejecting McArdle's bail application, Mr Justice Burns remanded him in custody to July 20, when the full hearing of his extradition to the Netherlands will take place.