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JUDICIAL SHAME…..

By ATWadmin On January 18th, 2007

I wonder what you make of the news that the High Court in the Irish Republic has refused to extradite an Irish Life accountant who mowed down two young children in Hungary while driving at 75 to 80kph in a built up area?




Ciaran Tobin’s car mounted the footpath in a built-up area of Budapest in the accident seven years ago, killing a five-year-old boy and a two-year-old girl. A High Court judge yesterday refused a request for Tobin’s extradition by the Hungarian authorities, who wanted him to serve a sentence imposed on him by a Budapest court in his absence for negligence causing death in April 2000. Mr Tobin from Cairn Manor, Ratoath, Co Meath, who is a senior manager with Irish Life plc customer services, Abbey Street, Dublin, was working for the company in Budapest at the time of the accident. Yesterday, the High Court turned down an application by the Hungarian authorities to extradite the father of two from Ireland. Mr Justice Michael Peart said he was refusing the extradition request because he was satisfied that Mr Tobin’s departure from Hungary could not be defined as ‘fleeing’, as had been contended on the extradition warrant. Mr Tobin (41), was convicted in his absence by a Hungarian court in 2002 of negligent driving causing the deaths of the two children after his car mounted a footpath in a built-up area of Budapest on the afternoon of April 9, 2000. A three-year sentence was imposed, which was later adjusted downwards on appeal to 18 months.


 


 


As a result of the incident, Marton Zoltai (5), who was standing on the footpath, and Petra Zoltai (2), who was sitting in a pram at the time of the accident, were both killed.


 


In his judgment, Mr Justice Peart said that he accepted Mr Tobin’s argument that he and his family left Hungary, on November 30, 2000, following the completion of his work in that country, and that he had never “fled” Hungary.


 


Irish Courts have shown a disturbing reluctance to extradite its citizens, even when as in this case, it is clear that a terrible crime has been committed.


Over the years, we in Northern Ireland have also observed this Irish Judicial tendency to wish away the hard fact that Irish people, just like the rest of us, are capable of doing great wrong and must be made amenable to justice. not sheltered from it!


The family of the Hungarian kids deserve better, I have to say.

41 Responses to “JUDICIAL SHAME…..”

  1. I’m sure Irish judicial circles are all too aware that Irish people can do great harm. They are dealing with it every day.

    I think a lot of this problem is that foreign prosecutors fail to get the extradition papers right.

  2. utterly shameless and utterly heartless.

  3. Cunningham,

    Yes, that’s right, it’s the fault of someone else.

  4. Excuses Cunningham. To be expected.

    The FS/ROI has a long track record of sheltering the guilty. Seems to be a national trait to think that if somebody can "get away" with something,no matter how dreadful, fair play to them.

    Haven’t noticed the ROI busting it’s chops to find the Colombia three …..

  5. Pretty awful decision. The law can be an ass when it wants to. And as it happens this does come down to a technicality in the european arrest warrant. Apparently to do with the term ‘fled’ being used to describe how he left Hungary. The state are looking at appealing the decision, so they are pushing for him to be extradited.

    He should just take whatever punishment has been doled out.

  6. It’s good to hear a reasonable voice from the other side of the Border Kloot.

    I don’t know how this man can live with himself.

  7. Who can be surprised by this? In the dark days of the 1970s and 1980s their track record was even worse – they bent over backwards to save the IRA from extradition in virtually every case that was brought.

  8. >>I don’t know how this man can live with himself.<<

    Indeed… surely if the man took his punishment, it might offer him some relief for the guilt that any normal person might be going through

  9. Kloot,

    Very fair comments you make. I am aware that UK Courts, for example, can also act totally irresponsibly, as ATW regularly points out. But in this case, it is the Irish Judiciary who have failed and I compare your recognition of this with Cunningham’s sem-denial.

  10. >>ut in this case, it is the Irish Judiciary who have failed and I compare your recognition of this with Cunningham’s sem-denial.<<

    Wait a minute: Kloot didn’t say that. He said that the decision was due to a a fault in the extradition warrant. Which is also what I said!

    (BTW, this was also the case with the Columbia 3. According to all reports, the extradition warrant was evidently drawn up by someone with no experience of office work and certainly none of law. The Irish Govt told the Columbians they could only consider a warrant that fulfilled international requirements and that was the last that was heard of it.
    But why let facts get in the way of a bit of Paddy bashing!).

  11. David,
    the Hungarians can put together a correct extradition warrant with a correct account of what happened or else nobody is going anywhere.

    It’s called upholding the rule of law. That’s what happens when you have an independent judiciary in a democracy.

  12. Lucky OLD Ireland – must have the world’s best judiciary based on this sort of failure to extradite.

  13. For a section of Irish society it is "themselves alone" that matter. The rights or even the lives of others just do not matter. This is how Republicans are able to engage in the warped double think that is the hall mark of that sect.

  14. David,
    you can’t extradite a citizen if the country looking for them lies on the extradition application about the facts of the case.

  15. David:
    From the BBC a couple of years back.

    "Britain has rejected Argentina’s request for the extradition of a former Iranian diplomat accused in the bombing of a Jewish centre.

    The Home Office said there was not enough prima facie evidence for the extradition of Hade Soleimanpour to proceed at this stage.

    The case has strained ties between Britain and Iran, which said it was politically motivated.

    The 1994 attack on the Buenos Aires Jewish centre killed 85 people."

    An independent judiciary has to look at the facts and then decide if there is a case to answer. If there is not enough evidence or the evidence is suspect (the people are lying) then an extradition won’t take place.

    Show me a dictatorship with an independent judiciary or show me a democracy without one.

    This is the price you pay for freedom. Reliable evidence is required not which mob shouts loudest.

  16. Does any reasonable person think that the word "Fled " – which was after all a translation – was in any way pertinent to the issue – that an Irish Citizen who had Killed Two children was refusing to return to Hungary to pay the lawful price for his actions?

    Fairly Pathetic whataboutery ( no surprises there ) from Garfield.

  17. Garfield,

    "you can’t extradite a citizen if the country looking for them lies on the extradition application about the facts of the case."

    According to an earlier Irish Independent report:

    "Tobin had been granted bail by the Hungarian court and had to surrender his passport. He later sought it as he wanted to return to Ireland with his family for a wedding and his family here had not seen his youngest child. Det Sgt Lenihan said Tobin had written to the Hungarian authorities that he accepted the seriousness of what happened. Tobin wrote he was "committed to the process and bringing a resolution to this tragedy"".
    They were obviously not aware that he was "leaving for good"-

    Two further points here:

    1.If an Armenian, Ukranian or somebody from a non-Western European country had committed the same crime, they would not have got their passport back.Toibin took advantage of the fact that he came from a Western European country.

    2.The Hungarian extradition was not"lying". Look at the last sentebnce which Toibin said. The Hungarian authorities basically should not have relied on his word and the fact that he was Irish, the only mistake they made was relying on the honour of Toibin.

    Whatever the legal nicities,Toibin, in my opinion, is scum, not just for his original crime but for his refusal to deal with its consequences.

  18. >>Does any reasonable person think that the word "Fled " – which was after all a translation <<

    I dont think any reasonable person would, but were talking about the law. Many many people use stupid technicalities like this to evade conviction.

    People get off because the date was wrong on the arrest warrant, or because the Garda did not have his cap on at the time and therefore was not in full uniform, and so on. And no, this isnt limited to Irish law, Irish law is after all largely based on UK law.

    Laws are made by people and therefore are not flawless. Lawyers argue the most innate points of law, and judges have to make calls on these which to us ordinary folk seem plain stupid and unpractical.

  19. ‘Does any reasonable person think that the word "Fled " – which was after all a translation – was in any way pertinent to the issue – that an Irish Citizen who had Killed Two children was refusing to return to Hungary to pay the lawful price for his actions?’

    Yes, it is. A qualified translator will be well aware of the meaning of the word ‘flee’ in English. If this detail does not reflect the apparent facts, then the the extradition application should be rejected. This should, of course, apply to individuals of any nationality.

  20. I ought to add, however, that his decision to flee was a total outrage, and he should be extradited.

  21. Kloot
    My understanding of the case is that once the Hungarian authorities gave back his passport, they lost any chance under the terms of the EU Extradition warrant.

    Now whether Toibin lied or not to get it back or natural justice is served in this instance is neither here nor there.

    I just wonder what would be the reaction of people like Garfield, if the reverse situation had occured-Hungarian with reckless driving kills 2 Irish children-escapes justice on a technicality.
    I donát think we would be getting lectures on the beauties of an independent judiciary somehow.

  22. >>I just wonder what would be the reaction of people like Garfield, if the reverse situation had occured-Hungarian with reckless driving kills 2 Irish children-escapes justice on a technicality.
    I donát think we would be getting lectures on the beauties of an independent judiciary somehow.<<

    There would be public outrage, im sure of it.

    I cant speak for gar, in fairness he doesnt seem to be defending the man, it seems more a discussion as to whether or not the decision was ‘technically’ right or not if you know what i mean.

    as it in, was the decision morally right..no.. but was it ‘technically right’… well, im no lawyer so i cant say on that aspect.

  23. I agree 100% with Paul’s post at 11.53 am. This guy is beneath contempt and the Irish judiciary are aiding and abetting him. The parents of the victim obviously don’t enter into it as far as Tobin and the Irish judge are concerned.

    If it was the other way round there would be total outrage in Ireland, and rightly so.

  24. It is somewhat bizarre that what appears to be one over-literal interpretation of the law (which has allowed a man to escape the extradition he deserves)has become a stick with which to beat the Irish judiciary.

    Any historic failures to extradite paramilitaries to the north are a different matter altogether.

  25. >>This guy is beneath contempt and the Irish judiciary are aiding and abetting him<<

    But they’re not. Thats statements just not true. The law cannot take the emotional side on this. They merely make a judgment based on facts and are asked to decide on matters of legal fact.

    You make it seem like the Irish judiciary are going out of their way to find a way to get this guy off the hook. They are not, its his lawyer who is. Who knows the judges personal feelings on this. NONE of us and we probably never will.

    Whether we like it or not, if the judge makes a mistake in any judgment it opens the possibility that the whole case could fail at a later stage and the person in the dock could get off. What has happened is that a legal calling has been made on a technicality. The Irish prosecution will either appeal or come at it a different way. Thats just law folks.

  26. Paul and Pete,

    an independent judiciary, Irish or otherwise, can only act on the information put in front of them.

    They must act within the rule of law. Free countries are littered with people who have escaped justice because of loopholes etc.

    It is not for the judiciary to close the loophole, it is for the legislature, the elected representatives of the people.

    Also, a maxim of the common law is that it is better that 10 men go free than one innocent man is found guilty.

    This is the basis of a legal system that has served many countries well for nigh on a thousand years.

    Madradin,
    it has nothing to do with whataboutery, it’s about justice and how it works. If all you can add to the discussion an insult?

  27. No Garfield it was silly whataboutery – the causes were VERY different – as the UK refusal to extradite hung upon a failure by the country seeking extradition to show sufficient prima facie evidence that they had a case for the trial to occur…. In this case the man has been already tried in absentia and found guilty. In the ROI case the refusal to extradite was on a single word. The man is not contesting his guilt.

    Huge difference, as USUAL you were responding to something that shows your country in a poor light with an anti-British rant.

    Another down side – in future any citizen of the ROI seeking to leave Hungary for a genuine compassionate reason will find it a lot harder.

  28. Madradin,
    I was actually strongly praising the British judiciary for showing total independence and sticking to the rule of law as a free and democratic nation should rather than bowing to serious political pressure from all sides.

    But don’t let facts get in the way of falsely declaring other people’s prejudices as a means of backing up your own.

  29. >>in future any citizen of the ROI seeking to leave Hungary for a genuine compassionate reason will find it a lot harder.<<

    No citizen of the Republic wishing to leave Hungary, or anywhere else, will have to give any reason for leaving. At the border, they just politely wave us through as soon as they see the front of the Irish passport.

  30. No Garfield – you were trying to lay down smoke about this disgraceful decision in the ROI.

    And in future any ROI citizen in trouble in Hungary will find it a lot harder to leave the country.

  31. >>But don’t let facts get in the way of falsely declaring other people’s prejudices as a means of backing up your own.<<

    Right, Garfield. The case is clear: the warrant was faulty and the judge could not lawfully allow the extraditoin.
    This thread has again shown up people like MR as being just another Paddy-basher unable to control his tribal urges.

  32. Madradin,
    This is what I wrote about Britain’s judiciary also refusing a controversial extradition:

    Tell me what in here is anti-British?

    "An independent judiciary has to look at the facts and then decide if there is a case to answer. If there is not enough evidence or the evidence is suspect (the people are lying) then an extradition won’t take place.

    Show me a dictatorship with an independent judiciary or show me a democracy without one.

    This is the price you pay for freedom. Reliable evidence is required not which mob shouts loudest."

    I was complimenting the British judiciary for its independence. I was complimenting the British state for being a democracy. I was complimenting the British people for paying the price for freedom.

    I was berating the mob. People like you like.

    You seem to be at your usual habit of "discussion".

  33. Cunningham – I clarified my statement. This dirt-bag had surrendered his passport and foolishly the Hungarian authorities let him have it back so he could attend a wedding and see a child. As I said – any ROI citizen in trouble will in future have a much harder job if seeking to leave the country on compassionate grounds.

  34. Garfield – it had absolutely nothing to do with this case – it was laying down smoke.

    Cunningham – I might have guessed you would take the side of the child-killer – after all he’s Irish – what are a few Hungarian children. After all that’s the same stance you take about Irish Murderers of British men, women and children.

  35. Where is the anti-British rant Madradin? Care to retract that comment please.

  36. No – So extradite me Garfield.

  37. On what charge? I could only seek a remedy in tort, therefore extradition would be out of the question.

    Pointing out how an independent judiciary works and why decisions are reached isn’t putting up a smokescreen, it’s explaining how a decision was made.

    It’s a pity you resort to groundless abuse rather than discuss the point. But such is life.

  38. So
    "The case is clear: the warrant was faulty and the judge could not lawfully allow the extraditoin.<<

    equals

    "you would take the side of the child-killer"

    LOL !
    I needn’t remind bloggers that this is the same mentality that gave us Internment without trial. And just look at the mess that caused!

  39. Ah yes – Internment without trial is somehow linked to the propriety of a dirt-bad who killed two children evading Justice.

    Typical of you.

  40. No MR, it’s typical of YOU. You have on this thread again shown your contempt for the rule of law and court decisions. This was the same contempt, and unwillingness to accept unwelcome court judgements, that ushered in Internment without trial. It’s all to easy to see where you are coming from.

  41. Garfield
    Re:your 12.33 post, Im fully aware of the principles you outline, thanks anyway. If you read my post again you’ll see I’ve specified the Hungarian govt made a cock-up . Th.ey did not however as you alleged lie on the extradition form- the only apparent liar in tis case is Toibin