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Irish solicitor fighting extradition from Australia

Irish solicitor fighting extradition from Australia

A former high-flying Irish solicitor fighting his extradition to Ireland on property fraud charges has lost his latest appeal in the Federal Court.

Vincent O’Donoghue, a 60-year-old father of four, is embroiled in an ongoing battle against his extradition, which dates back to 2004.

Irish authorities want O’Donoghue extradited from Australia after a warrant for his arrest was issued in relation to eight alleged offences of obtaining property by false presences and a further eight alleged offences of fraudulent conversion.

O’Donoghue emigrated to Australia with his family in 2002 and applied for permanent residency in 2003, with Queensland law firm Hope Lawyers backing him under the Employer Nominated Scheme in the role of a legal consultant. However, in late 2004 he was arrested in Perth following the extradition request from Dublin.

Since then, O’Donoghue has fought his extradition and was on bail up to April 2009 when he was remanded in custody at Hakea Prison, 19km south of Perth, after a magistrate found him eligible for surrender to Ireland.

In March 2011, he challenged the then Federal Justice Minister Brendan O’Connor over the validity of the extradition warrant against him.
O’Donoghue claimed that an extradition request from the Irish Embassy in Canberra was made without the appropriate authorisation from Ireland.

Last August, Justice John Gilmour dismissed an appeal from O’Donoghue after he found there was no evidence supporting the allegation that the extradition request was a fraud.

O’Donoghue secured an injunction last October which prevented his removal from Australia pending the latest appeal in the Federal Court on 2 April. In the Federal Court O’Donoghue again sought to contest the validity of the extradition warrant on a number of jurisdictional and procedural points.

This appeal was also dismissed, with Chief Justice Patrick Keane noting that “no basis was identified to cast doubt on the embassy’s authority”, before adding that O’Donoghue seemed “unwilling or unable to accept that his challenge to the validity of the extradition process on the basis that it is ‘all a fraud’ is overwhelmingly implausible”.

O’Donoghue has 21 days from 2 April to appeal the full Federal Court’s decision.

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Irish solicitor fighting extradition from Australia
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