Irisch Republikanische Solidarität


Colombia 3 appeal considered

The case of three men accused of training rebels in the
Colombian civil war is to be raised with the European Union
following an extraordinary decision by the country's judiciary
to overturn their acquittal earlier this year.

Supporters of the Colombia 3 held a press conference at lawyers'
offices for the three men in Bogota on Tuesday as an appeal was
being considered.

International observers at the original trial, who noted that
the prosecution case had effectively collapsed in the face of
the evidence, were stunned. The ruling was described as
"political and farcical".

It has since emerged that the decision to overturn the acquittal
of the men was made behind closed doors, without any hearings or
additional evidence being presented.

Sinn Fein Assembly members Gerry Kelly and Caitriona Ruane said
the verdict was a "travesty of justice of international

Ms Ruana, chairwoman of the Bring Them Home campaign, said:
"Having met with the lawyers we are now exploring every legal
option left open to the men. The lawyers are currently
consulting experts in relation to this.

"We are planning to bring the case of these three Irishmen and
EU citizens to the EU parliament.

"This campaign will continue, intensify and internationalise
these cases.

The men have remained in hiding pending a resolution of their
legal status.

An appeal through the discredited Colombian judicial system,
which could take several years, is now considered unlikely.

The Dublin Government said it would consider the legal aspects
of any possible calls for the extradition of the three men. It
is awaiting a translation of the latest ruling.

"We don't have presently an extradition agreement with Colombia.
We will have to look at the legal aspects that arise," said the
irish Prime Minister, Bertie Ahern.

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