The High Court has remanded a woman wanted in the UK to serve out the remainder of her sentence for stalking and breaching a restraining order.
Gandan-born Farah Damji, 55, was arrested by members of An Garda Siochana at a property in rural Co Galway on Wednesday before being taken before the High Court’s holiday session in Dublin.
Damji, who grew up in the UK and has multiple convictions for fraud in multiple jurisdictions, was arrested on a warrant issued for her alleged failure to appear before courts considering the extradition request.
She had claimed that due to inadequacies in the UK prison system’s psychiatric care, her surrender would not affect her fundamental rights.
In June, the Supreme Court rejected their arguments and upheld an earlier High Court decision ordering their surrender to the UK.
The extradition order was suspended pending a final decision on when their surrender should take place.
She was on bail while her appeal was being considered.
However, an arrest warrant was issued for her after she breached the terms of her bail.
It was alleged that she failed to appear before the Supreme or High Courts when they considered her case, in breach of one of the terms of her bail.
Damji appeared before Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds at an address outside Ballinasloe in Co Galway on Wednesday afternoon following her arrest by Detective Garda Eoin Kane of the Garda Delivery Unit.
Following an application by Alison Fynes Bl for the Minister, the judge agreed to remanded Ms Damji pending extradition.
The judge, after reviewing the Supreme Court’s decision, also overturned the stay of the extradition order previously granted by the courts.
The judge said it appeared that Ms Damji had “exhausted every avenue at her disposal” in relation to the extradition request.
In response, attorney Elise Martin Vignerte said for Damji that her client could pursue other proceedings, including seeking an investigation into the legality of her detention to prevent extradition, and urged the court not to lift the stay and simply allow the stay adjourn proceedings.
The judge said she was unwilling to leave the placement in place and cleared the way for Ms Damji’s surrender.
The question of opening further proceedings was up to Damji, the judge added.
The courts had previously heard Damji came to Ireland after fleeing her trial in London in February 2020.
She was found guilty in absentia by a London court of breaching a restraining order twice in April and June 2018 and sentenced to 18 months in prison.
She was arrested in Dublin in August 2020 and held in that state for seven months before being granted bail.
Damji, who lived at an address in Dublin, also has a criminal record for fraud and theft dating back to the 1990s.
Given the Supreme Court’s decision, which was unanimous among the five justices reviewing the appeal, Justice John MacMenamin said there was no basis for concluding that the Supreme Court Justice erred in his findings, which led to him ordering Damji’s extradition.
Damji stated that she had significant psychological vulnerabilities due to a history of abuse as a child and adult, as well as other traumatic events.
She argued that if she were forced to serve the remainder of what was expected to be a relatively short prison sentence in the UK, her condition would likely deteriorate further.
Any order for their surrender to the UK would breach their rights under the European Arrest Warrant Act 2003, which prohibits such orders in situations where they would be inconsistent with a state’s obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights or the Constitution, she also claims.
However, the Supreme Court found that the evidence did not show that Damji would be denied adequate and necessary treatment while she served the short remainder of her sentence.
https://www.independent.ie/news/high-court-remands-woman-wanted-in-the-uk-to-serve-out-the-remainder-of-a-sentence-for-stalking-41903578.html High Court remanded woman wanted in UK to serve out remainder of sentence for stalking