Irisch Republikanische Solidarität


Dickson jailed in Germany over IRA attack

A former British soldier was jailed for six and a half years
in Germany before Christmas for assisting an IRA mortar attack
on his old army base.

Michael Dickson was alleged to have assisted the IRA in
attacking the British base in Osnabrueck in north-west Germany
after the IRA's cessation collapsed briefly in 1996.

Before he was extradited to Germany in April, he denied he had
any connections to the IRA in a letter to the Prague Post

"I am not a member or have been a member of the IRA," he
wrote. "If I am extradited, I will be the only person in jail
under the Good Friday agreement."

Presiding judge Wolfgang Siolek said he believed Dickson's
role in the IRA was minor.

In 1996, the IRA claimned responsibility for the attack, in
which an active service unit fired three shells onto the
Quebec Barracks, causing material damage but no injuries among
the British soldiers.

Dickson had been in the British army for seven years until
1988. He was arrested in Prague last December and extradited
in April to Germany.

Dickson's lawyer, Barbara Klawitter, said neither she nor
prosecutors would appeal the verdict. But she urged federal
prosecutors to determine whether the release of prisoners
under the Good Friday Agreement for members of groups now
respecting a ceasefire -- such as the IRA -- could be applied
to Dickson.

That agreement states that for prisoners incarcerated in
Britain or Ireland, crimes they committed before April 1998
should be eligible for review by a parole commission.

Ms Klawitter said others involved in the Osnabrueck attack
benefited from the amnesty and were released after two years,
and said Dickson should serve the same term or less.

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