Businessman fighting extradition for robbery in which Garda Adrian Donohoe was killed says he suffers from memory loss
A businessman wanted in connection with the robbery in which Garda detective Adrian Donohoe was shot dead is suffering from memory loss, a London court has heard.
Lawyers for Armagh man James Flynn (31) have argued he should not be extradited to Ireland due to a delay in prosecution.
Gardaí want to charge him with theft from Lordship Credit Union, Dundalk, in January 2013, as well as conspiracy to commit six burglaries.
Detective Garda Donohoe was shot dead when he and a colleague were ambushed by a five-man gang while under armed escort.
At today’s hearing, James Flynn said he was suffering from a panic attack, while the father of convicted killer Aaron Brady also gave evidence in an abuse of process claim which was refused.
Graeme Hall, Mr Flynn’s lawyer, argued his client’s extradition would be unfair because of the passage of time and because the allegations against him have not been specified.
He said there was medical evidence that his client’s memory is now “significantly and negatively affected” and that he cannot remember what happened in 2012 and 2013.
The court was also told that he had suffered a relapse of his PTSD and that extradition would likely cause his mental health to deteriorate further.
Amanda Bostock of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said the delay was due to the complexity of the case which included more than 6,000 investigative leads and 3,200 statements.
She said there was no suggestion that Mr Flynn’s PTSD was worse than at the time of the robbery and that he had made statements to police three times in 2013 when his account was “fresh in his mind”.
Another reason for denying the request, Mr Hall said, was that the specific offenses his client was charged with were not set out in the extradition warrant.
He said there had been a “broad omnibus description” of the charges, but there was no specific understanding of the case against James Flynn.
Ms Bostock said it was a joint venture matter and they did not have to prove exactly what role Mr Flynn allegedly played in the offences.
It was the prosecution, she said, that Mr. Flynn was in the parking lot of the credit union and participated in the robbery, and was part of the group that carried out the burglaries.
The presiding judge, sitting at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, said he would make a decision on the extradition request later this month.
Prior to the start of the hearing this morning, James Flynn requested an adjournment to request further representation and for health reasons.
“It’s been going on for nine years, it’s my life your honor,” James Flynn said, adding that he had little contact with his lawyers.
He also said he was having a panic attack in court, citing his heart “pounding out of my chest”, his hands were changing color and he hadn’t slept in three days.
Declining the adjournment, the presiding judge said, “You seem well composed and do an impressive job of getting what you want to say across.”
His legal team had also filed for a stay of proceedings because the lawsuits were an abuse of process.
From the witness stand, Mr Flynn said he had spoken to investigators on three occasions but was among “thousands of people” who had been spoken to.
He told the court he had ‘not the slightest’ concern about being sued for ‘something I didn’t do’ and claimed a ‘case of lies’ was being built against him.
Tony Brady, the father of Aaron Brady who is currently serving a life sentence for the capital murder of Adrian Donohoe, was also called as a witness.
He said he had “serious concerns” about the investigation, that there were “glaring problems” in the case and relevant CCTV footage was missing.
In particular, he said, it related to footage near a south Armagh building site where Aaron Brady claimed he was laundering diesel at the time of the murder.
When questioned further, he said he could not say 100% whether this footage had been viewed by the defense or whether reports relating to it had been leaked.
Ms Bostock said the Irish courts considered the trial safe and the High Court judge would have been aware of the alleged issues when signing the extradition warrant.
The presiding judge said he could find no conduct here “likely to amount to an abuse of process with respect to the process of the extradition tribunals”.