The Irish Times - Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Garland linked to $250,000 in fake notes,
COULTER, Legal Affairs Editor
VETERAN Irish republican handed over almost a quarter
of a million fake US dollars in Russian hotels
in an international plot to spread the “supernotes” across Europe, the High Court heard
Seán Garland (77), of Beldonstown, Brownstown,
Navan, Co Meath, is opposing his extradition to the US to face charges of
distributing fake US dollars.
In an affidavit to the court, Brenda Johnson,
attorney, said: “This
case involved a long-standing and large-scale supernotes distribution network
based in the Republic
of Ireland and headed by Seán
Garland, a senior officer in the Irish Workers’ Party.”
Ms Johnson alleged one of Mr Garland’s alleged
co-conspirators, Hugh Todd, later told investigators he purchased more than
$250,000 of “supernotes” from “the Garland organisation” which
were redistributed into the world economy through currency exchanges across Europe.
Ms Johnson’s affidavit states Mr Garland knew
the Federal Reserve notes were counterfeit, that he travelled circuitous routes
and met with other conspirators to discuss the supernotes operation and engage
Michael Forde SC, argued his client had been
accused of a transnational conspiracy, but the charge fell under Ireland’s forgery or money
laundering laws. He should therefore be tried in Ireland rather than be
“The rationale is very simple,” said Mr Forde.
“If the offence was committed against Irish law, and a substantial part
committed in the State, then the State should prosecute.”
His legal team also argued that Mr Garland’s
fundamental rights have been infringed, there had been a delay in making the
second extradition order and the extradition was connected with a political
offence. Mr Forde also claimed the application was based on hearsay and had not
established a prima facie case.
Richard Humphreys SC, also counsel for Mr
Garland, said that if they were wrong about the Irish courts having
jurisdiction the issue arose of whether there was correspondence between the
offence in US
law and Irish law on
the relevant date.
He said most of the alleged offences had taken
place between 1999 and 2000 and in those years they did not constitute an
offence under Irish law. This meant there was no correspondence between the
alleged offences under US and Irish law.
“A conspiracy has to be to do something
unlawful,” he said. “A number of major elements are missing. Forgery of foreign
banknotes was not an offence then. The extra-territorial dimension was not
present.” Referring to the issue of Mr Garland’s rights, he said the “
political character of the offence jumps off the page”.
Irish Times - Thursday, July 14, 2011
Bid to extradite Garland opposed
DEAGLÁN de BRÉADÚN
TDS, SENATORS and
councillors from different parties united yesterday to oppose the extradition
of veteran republican and former Official IRA leader Seán Garland (76) to the US.
The US is seeking to
extradite Mr Garland over allegations that he took part in a counterfeiting
operation involving North
Korea and the Russian
in which large quantities of counterfeit $100 notes were manufactured.
The High Court in Dublin is to begin hearing
against Mr Garland on Monday next. The hearing is expected to take four days.
Chairing a press conference at the Shelbourne
Hotel yesterday, Rev Chris Hudson, a Unitarian minister from Belfast, said Mr Garland had
been working for peace on the island since 1972, when the Official IRA
ceasefire was declared.
Independent TD for Waterford John Halligan
said politicians from different parties were “outraged at the attempt to
extradite a decent man”, adding that Mr Garland had been virtually “held
captive” in his own city of Dublin.
Fianna Fáil Senator Labhrás Ó Murchú said:
“One can only imagine the trauma that Seán Garland has been put through. All he
ever gave to Ireland
was service, in every
sense of the word.”
Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris said his party was
giving “100 per cent” backing to Mr Garland, adding: “I hope that we will have
the support of the Government.”
Other TDs present included Richard Boyd
Barrett of the United Left Alliance, Labour’s Joanna Tuffy, Joe Higgins of the
Socialist Party, Fianna Fáil’s Timmy Dooley and Independent Finian McGrath.
Dr Bill Tormey Fine Gael City Councillor, Dubln North-West No Extradition for Sean Garland
The US Government want to extradite Sean Garland on charges related to counterfeit US$100 bills from the 1980s. Garland
was an official in the Workers Party at the time. The claim is that he got forged dollars from the North Korean Embassy in
Moscow. The High Court has made an extradition order which is being appealed to the Supreme Court. Sean Garland is an elderly
ill man and most of the WP have passed on to Democratic Left and now Labour. A well funded Workers Party did not do me any
favours in elections in the 1980s but c’est la vie. We must move on. In the interim, we have had the Peace Process and
Sinn Fein in government in Stormont. I see Condoleesa Rice sought the extradition. She is in my view and untried war criminal.
I proposed a motion which was passed at Dublin City Council some time back on the criminality of George Walker Bush, Ms Rice
and Donald Rumsfeld. Ex President Bush proclaimed his guilt recently in his book. Obviously, the powerful make the rules and
international law does not apply to them.
The US justice system has far too many problems . No
civilised country have should extradition to a country which executes people, tortures them, imprisons children for life,
has an incarceration rate of 1 in 100 adults and runs much of it’s prison service as a private business. (the last two
facts most likely related.)
I do not think that extradition of Sean Garland is appropriate. I have signed the support document.
If the US wants to have him charged here or in Europe – well go ahead. The period of time is excessive and life has
Just to give you an example of US private jails – read on about Stanford.
Bloodied and shackled: Controversial
cricket tycoon Allen Stanford beaten up by jail inmates as he awaits trial
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 8:18 AM on 8th November 2010
Bloodied and bruised, this is the shocking picture of cricket tycoon Allen Stanford after a beating by jail inmates.
His neck in a brace, his eye bleeding and half-closed and his head bandaged.
The final humiliation for Stanford, 60, awaiting trial accused of masterminding a $7billion fraud, was his feet and hands
were shackled as he was taken to hospital.
Attacked: The tycoon sits on a hospital trolley with his neck in a brace, his
eye half-shut and a bandage wrapped around his head after the assault by jail prisoners in Texas
Attacked: The tycoon sits on a hospital trolley with his neck in a brace, his eye half-shut and a bandage wrapped around
his head after the assault by jail prisoners in Texas
Once he posed with a perspex case containing $20million at Lord’s cricket ground. after being hailed as the saviour
of English cricket.
But that counted for nothing at the private prison in Conroe near Houston, Texas, and the inmates sharing his cell.
‘I was on the telephone and some of the other people in the cell didn’t like it,’ he told a friend who
visited him, according to the Sunday Times.
‘They said something to me and then two of them jumped me and kept punching me and kicking me in the head.
‘I lost consciousness, but at one time I came round and grabbed one of them by the leg. That just set them off a
The guards burst into the cell and shackled Stanford before taking him to a hospital where he underwent an operation while
still chained up.
Politics.ie has a good thread on the Sean Garland issue.
On this page we will provide links to various resources. We may include links to articles on the campaign, educational
links on the issues, or links that are just fun to check out.
Because we are different.
135 years in print
10 July 2010
Paranoia & the Plausible
Bush’s Toxic Legacy Persists
By Kurt Jacobsen and Sayeed Hasan Khan
SINCE George W Bush pounced
on 9/11 to ram through the misnamed Patriot Act, a ‘special powers’ act abrogating the rights of anyone the US
apparatchiks disliked, the authorities predictably became ever more unhinged. The lack of a legal compulsion to prove
anything allows the lowest intellects to indulge their looniest fancies. Paranoia is made to seem plausible in every case.
The majority of the Guantanamo prisoners were never charged in a court of law for the simple reason that there was no evidence.
Over time, this clumsy malevolence always extends to the blatant. Arrogant officials with excessive powers become over-confident.
Power, unchecked, breeds foolishness, just as absolute power corrupts absolutely. In the 1950s, the infamous Senator
Joe McCarthy not only suggested that the US State Department was a hotbed of raving reds but that President Eisenhower was
shockingly pink too. The huge files that secret police agencies customarily compile on trade unionists, peaceful radicals,
dissenters, and critics probably match, if not exceed, those dossiers tracking genuine saboteurs, spies and crazed cranks.
Was Ernest Hemingway or John Lennon a peril to the American Republic? No, but they were deemed a threat to particular
powerful actors. Yet the evident waste of resources is not entirely foolish, at least from a certain point of view, if you
realize that one underlying objective of draconian measures is to intimidate legal opponents too. Even Obama cannot resist
this boost in power, since he has retracted very little of the Patriot Act.
If you really want to zero in on domestic
enemies, please start with the authors of the Patriot Act, which rubbishes American liberties. Next, examine the profoundly
cynical officials who plotted the Iraq invasion on the basis of patent lies and plunged the US into an insanely expensive
war to support a corrupt Afghan regime in order to fight, by their own count, all of 50 Al Qaida operatives. Then let
us pry into the never-ending machinations of Wall Street scam artists to cripple the global economy for their own fun and
profit, and investigate the sociopathic bankers who now promote austerity that unnecessarily wreaks further havoc on
the job and financial security of the American populace who bailed them out of their own massive misbehaviour.
Antoinette was in closer touch with the French populace than the bankers are with the typical indebted American. Do the American
people really suffer from worse enemies than these ? Alas, the people who should be investigated themselves are the same folks
deciding who is investigated. Neat system, that. No wonder elites will do or say anything to defend it.
if not cruellest, example of highhanded idiocy is the effort to extradite Sean Garland from Ireland to the US on a preposterous
charge that only illogical security fanatics find believable. Garland, in his mid-70s and in very frail health, is former
president (2000-2008) and current treasurer of the Workers Party of Ireland, which was a coalition partner in an Irish government.
The Workers Party is a Left-wing organization that evolved remarkably out of the official IRA, which ceased armed operations
in May 1972 to work for a non-sectarian solution in Ulster even as the breakaway Provisional IRA fought on into the 1990s.
Whether the armalite or the ballot box (or both) was more effective is debatable, but for his estimable role in that
political feat Garland, a legendary IRA firebrand in his youth, surely was more entitled to a Nobel Peace Prize than the likes
of the lethal Henry Kissinger or the do-nothing Barack Obama.
The Bush administration in 2005 first accused
Garland of abetting North Korea in an extravagant scheme to flood the US with fake hundred dollar bills. Quite the reason
why Garland would engage in such a daft enterprise is not evident, except for the lazy assumption that an ex-IRA simply
must be that sort of fellow. The intricate B movie plot ~ involving Russian and British mobsters as well as lots of spooks
~ surpasses anything a South Park script could conjure. Supposedly super-slick Garland during Moscow trips picked up bulging
bags of counterfeit ‘superdollars’ to fly back to Ireland for dispersal to the US for an international criminal
cartel. Readers can imagine how many suitcases he successfully would have to smuggle to make a dent in the value of the currency.
Cartel there may well be, but is a dedicated and aging Irish Republican, noted for his stern principles (whether you like
them or not), likely to be part of it?
Garland was arrested in 2005 in Belfast where American authorities apparently banked
on a new evidence-free extradition agreement with the UK to snatch him, but he skipped to the Republic. Garland was arrested
again in Dublin last year and, at enormous costs, continues to wage a fight against extradition. Second-rate John Le
Carre fanciers infesting the British press had a jubilant time trumpeting the case’s totally improbable facets
with perfectly straight faces. The otherwise sober newspaper, The Independent, breathlessly reported that “travelling
as president of the Workers Party, he is said by the US to have used the cover of his position in the party to organise the
purchase, transportation and resale of forged dollar bill notes on a huge scale.”
Under the ‘cover of his
position’? As leader of one of the most monitored organizations on the planet? You’d think the naïve reporter
was describing the President of the Red Cross or the leader of a retired Policeman’s Association. Incidentally, the
Moscow police, an organization not widely renowned for its probity or competence, is cited as fingering Garland in the plot
too. Even the UK’s Observer published utterly credulous accounts of Garland’s supposed exploits, demonstrating
that the English still tend to abandon all common sense where anything Irish is concerned.
Garland has garnered support
in some surprising quarters. The Irish Labour Party parliamentary group unanimously opposed extradition as have Garland’s
long-time bitter rivals in Gerry Adams’ Sinn Fein, for which they deserve a tip of the hat. Counter-theories offered
by Garland’s defenders include the possibility of a US ‘plant” of the counterfeit bills story to provide
grounds for attacking North Korea. It’s hard to say which theory is crazier.
Of course nothing, absolutely
nothing, could be put past the Bush administration ideologues, but Obama so far has done little to rein in his predecessor’s
toxic legacy. And that is really the larger problem to which the Garland case points. Later this month the Irish High Court
will rule on a discovery motion in the case. The lesson remains, however, that it isn’t the law-breakers who are the
greatest threats to our daily lives; rather it is the people enforcing the law who we must watch most carefully. We face the
same problem with our law-enforcers.
The writers are freelance journalists and researchers