Cablegate: Colombia Three Turn Themselves In

Published: Thu 18 Aug 2005 03:40 PM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L DUBLIN 001022
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/31/2015
B. BOGOTA 7727
Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Jonathan S. Benton; Reasons 1.4
(B) and (D).
1. (C) Summary: On August 18, the Colombia Three voluntarily
presented themselves to the Irish police. The Irish
Department of Justice (DOJ) believes that the Garda will
release the men and turn to the Director of Public
Prosecutions for a decision on charges. The DOJ has also
asked for Embassy assistance in obtaining information on the
FARC, in anticipation of legal cases against the Colombia
Three. End summary.
2. (C) On August 18, Irish Department of Justice (DOJ)
Secretary General Sean Aylward informed Ambassador that the
Colombia Three (James Monaghan, Niall Connelly, and Martin
McCauley, who fled Colombia following convictions last
December for training the FARC) would voluntarily present
themselves to the Irish police (Garda) (ref A). Under a
prior arrangement with the Garda, the three arrived
separately with their respective legal representatives at
three police stations in Dublin. DOJ Assistant Secretary Ken
O'Leary told Emboff that the Garda were questioning the men
in connection with possible offenses under Irish law, ranging
from use of fake travel documents to participation in
terrorist activities. O'Leary believed that the Garda would
release the men after questioning and would prepare a report
for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), James
Hamilton, who would have responsibility for deciding on
charges. (Under Irish law, the Garda cannot hold a suspect
for more than 12 hours without bringing charges. The DPP
would have no time limit within which to announce charges if
the men were released within 12 hours.)
3. (C) Anticipating likely legal cases against the Colombia
Three, O'Leary asked for Embassy/USG recommendations on
open-source information (websites and published reports)
regarding the FARC. He also requested USG intelligence on
the FARC's relationship with the IRA, particularly with the
Colombia Three. Embassy is pursuing these requests.
4. (U) The Irish television station, RTE, reported that the
Garda had "arrested" Connelly for obtaining a false Irish
passport, an offense under Section Four of the Criminal
Justice Act. RTE also reported that Monaghan and McCauley
were speaking with the Garda on a voluntary basis and that
the Garda had been in touch with the Colombia Three's legal
representatives since their return to Ireland. O'Leary later
clarified for Emboff that Connelly had not been charged, but
rather was being "questioned under caution" with regard to
the passport issue.
5. (C) Rita O'Hare, Sinn Fein representative to the United
States, told Embassy that Sinn Fein was considering a
statement on the matter. She believed that the statement, if
issued, would refer to the importance of enabling the
Colombia Three to get on with their lives and their families.
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