Tuesday 18 December 2018

Dubliner fails to halt warrant on Hungary deaths

A DUBLIN man has lost his High Court bid to prevent his extradition to Hungary in connection with a fatal traffic accident more than 10 years ago.

Two children died when a car struck them on a footpath in Budapest.

Ciaran Tobin (46), of Offington Drive, Sutton, lost a bid to prevent his extradition following his conviction in Hungary for negligent driving causing the accident.

He was in court and remains on bail pending the making of formal orders in the extradition proceedings. He intends to appeal the High Court decision to the Supreme Court, his lawyers said.

Mr Justice Michael Peart, while dismissing Mr Tobin's case, said at least one point of law of exceptional public importance arose which should be determined by the Supreme Court.

Maurice Collins, for the Attorney General, said his side would not object to the High Court certifying points of law for determination. The exact points of law will be decided later. The case has been listed again for March 9.

In a European Arrest Warrant, it is claimed a car driven by Mr Tobin -- who was working in Hungary for Irish Life -- mounted a footpath in a built-up area near the Hungarian capital on April 9, 2000, killing Marton Zoltai (5), who was standing on the path, and Petra Zoltai (2), who was sitting in a pram.


It is claimed Mr Tobin's wife and two Irish friends were also in the car at the time. The following day, all four attended a police station and made a statement with the assistance of a Hungarian lawyer. Mr Tobin was later sentenced to three years in prison, reduced to 18 months on appeal.

Extradition proceedings brought against him in 2007 were dismissed after the High Court found, under the relevant provision of the European Arrest Warrant Act 2003, he had not "fled" Hungary after the incident.

The 2003 Act was later amended to remove, in relation to European Arrest Warrants issued after August 2009, the requirement that the Minister for Justice must satisfy the High Court a person has "fled" from the issuing state before serving a sentence. In September 2010 the Hungarian authorities issued a new warrant, in the same terms as the first warrant, seeking Mr Tobin's surrender.


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