§ Mr. Marlow
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many suspected murderers from Northern Ireland are believed to be resident in the Irish Republic; how many murders they are suspected of committing; under what circumstances the Irish authorities will return these people; and where the Irish authorities are not prepared to return such suspects to face charges, what physical 354W action the United Kingdom authorities will take to pursue, apprehend and retrieve these suspected criminals.
§ Mr. Humphrey Atkins
The RUC has sought the extradition of seven persons who are suspected of being involved in a total of 11 murders in Northern Ireland and who are currently thought to be resident in the Republic of Ireland. Five of the seven applications have been refused in the Irish courts; of the two remaining cases, one person has so far not been located and the other is serving a prison sentence. Use of the mutual criminal jurisdiction legislation would not have been possible in these cases because the offences were committed prior to the effective date of the legislation. In the case of a number of other persons believed to be connected with serious crimes, including murder, committed in Northern Ireland, and believed to be in the Republic, I am satisfied that where evidence is available the RUC will, in consultation with the Irish authorities, make appropriate use of the criminal jurisdiction legislation.