[Sinn Fein]

8th March 2000

Paul Magee should be released immediately

Sinn Fein Councillor Martin Ferris has described the arrest today of Paul `Dingus' Magee (Wednesday) in relation to an extradition judgement issued against him in November 1991 as an ``absolutely disgraceful''. He said: ``The government should end this incredible farce and release Paul Magee immediately.''

Councillor Ferris said:

``The arrest in Tralee of Paul Magee, in relation to an extradition judgement issued against him in November 1991 in his absence, is absolutely disgraceful. It has left many wondering if there are those in this state who are determined to destroy the Good Friday Agreement.

``The ongoing existence of extradition warrants is a disgrace and we have to ask why the Irish government would work in conjunction with the British government to put such a warrant back in existence. It also runs contrary to the commitment in the Good Friday Agreement regarding the release of political prisoners.

``At this critical time in the peace process we also have to ask what is the intent and motivation of the British government in pursuing the extradition of Paul Magee, a man they repatriated to Ireland in 1998.

``Paul Magee has been living with his wife and children in Kerry and frequently visits his family in Belfast. The anger and resentment which followed the arrest of Angelo Fusco will be compounded by today's actions.

``The extradition of Paul Magee is totally wrong. I call on the Minister for Justice to intervene immediately and order Paul Magee's release. He should also end this farce and rescind all outstanding extradition warrants against those facing political charges.''

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