herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Extradition case told US jail 'too harsh'

Lawyers for a man wanted in the US on terrorism charges have read an Amnesty International report to the High Court on the "inhuman" conditions at a supermax prison where they say their client could be held.

Ali Charaf Damache (49), an Algerian-born Irish citizen, previously with an address in Waterford, is wanted by the US authorities in connection with an alleged conspiracy to provide support to terrorists.

Earlier this month, he won a Supreme Court appeal for a judicial review of the DPP's decision not to prosecute him in Ireland and his extradition case is now being heard for the second time.

If convicted in the US, Mr Damache could face up to 45 years in jail, a term his lawyers say would be "a lot more" than could be imposed here.

His legal team says he could be sent to the ADX Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado, where he could be kept in solitary confinement and would have difficulty practicing his Muslim faith.

Report

Mark Lynham BL for Mr Damache read from an Amnesty International report, which described the conditions in the ADX as exceptionally harsh with some prisoners being confined in their cells.

He said the information contained in the report came from various attorneys and the courts.

Amnesty International asked to visit the prison in 2011 but was turned down and the court was told that there was little information about the current facility.

Mr Damache, who has been living in Ireland for more than 10 years, is wanted on charges alleging conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and attempted identity theft to facilitate an act of international terrorism.

After the DPP decided in March 2011 not to prosecute him in Ireland, the US sought his extradition in 2012. He has been in custody since.

Ms Justice Aileen Donnelly remanded Mr Damache in custody until next Tuesday when the case is due to resume.

hnews@herald.ie

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