Irish Independent

Colombian court 'was split'

THE COLOMBIAN appeals court which passed a 17-year jail sentence on three Irish republicans was split over its decision, it emerged last night.

Two of the magistrates voted in favour of a heavy prison sentence for IRA men James Monaghan and Martin McCauley and Sinn Fein representative Niall Connolly. Details of a minority judgment from the third magistrate are now being sought by lawyers on behalf of the missing Irishmen, whose whereabouts remain a mystery, although arrest warrants have been circulated in 182 countries through Interpol. The Colombian authorities have warned they will take action against any person or organisation known to be in contact with the men.

The defence legal team is expected to travel here from Bogota shortly to hold talks with campaigners and the families of the three and a decision will then be taken on what legal route should be adopted to challenge last month's judgment.

Tom Brady
Security Editor

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