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Thursday, 20 October 2011

Freddie Thompson to be extradited to Spain


04:44 |

 

Freddie Thompson is to be extradited to Spain immediately after he asked the High Court today to send him "straight away". The 30-year-old from Loreto Road in Maryland in Dublin, is wanted is Spain to face charges of possession and trafficking of drugs and firearms. The Spanish authorities say he is a member of an international criminal organisation. Freddie Thompson took the stand in the High Court today and told the judge that he was consenting to his extradition to Spain, that he was waiving his right to remain in custody here for ten days and that he wanted to go straight away. He is wanted in Spain to face three charges - unlawful assembly, drugs offences and possession of weapons and arms trafficking. The Spanish authorities claim he is a member of an international criminal organisation which through a complex network of companies has laundered the proceeds of illegal drugs and weapons trafficking. They say his role is to secure weapons for the organisation and that he is a bodyguard and a chauffeur. Mr Thompson stated and signed a document in court today confirming he voluntarily consents to his extradition, that he is aware of the consequences and that he got professional legal advice and representation. But while Mr Justice John Edwards agreed to extradite Freddie Thompson immediately, he did not agree that the taxpayer should pay for his lawyers. Freddie Thompson submitted a statement of means claiming he had no source of income. Barrister Ronan Kennedy, for the State, asked how he could support himself when he was not claiming social welfare or benefits here, not registered for business or tax and yet could travel freely around Europe. Mr Thompson claimed he had been supported by his mother, but she was not in court to give evidence, as well as living on €20,000 from two traffic accidents, which had dwindled to nothing in the past few months. The judge said while Mr Thompson had now been surrendered to the Spanish authorities, the question was whether his lawyers could be paid out of the public purse. The statement of means was very unsatisfactory, he said, and he refused free legal aid.


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