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I wanted to write about the case of Ciaran Tobin for some time, now I can just summarize an article on [origo].

Ciaran Tobin is a director of the insurer Irish Life. On 9 April 2000, he was driving his Volvo across the Hungarian town of Leányfalu waay above the permitted speed (at least 80 instead of 50 km/h). In a curve, he overtook another car, but at the end he drifted off to the sidewalk -- and hit a small child and his even smaller sister in a baby carriage - killing both.

Tobin repeatedly left the country during the legal process against him, first in September, then - finally - in November 2000. No one held him up. (Now [origo] learnt from judicial papers that Tobin was first allowed to leave after the Irish ambassador in Budapest requested so and gave personal reassurances; and that against prior practice in such serious cases.) His lawyers tried all kinds of excuses, from brake error through tyre explosion to sudden appearance of a car from a side street, but in the end, he was sentenced to 3 years in May 2002. Reduced to 18 months on second instance.

However, Tobin was and remained in Ireland. So the Hungarian court issued an arrest warrant and requested extradiction. In January 2007, the Irish High Court rejected the request, and maintained the decision on second instance this March. The argument was that Tobin didn't flee from Hungary back in November 2000, but left legally. Tobin may in theory be arrested if he sets foot in another EU country before 2012. However, the Hungarian government doesn't feel they have to do anything, say turning to Eurojust.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 04:21:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Irish extradition law was written to avoid embarrassing extraditions to the UK during the Troubles without appearing to be trying to avoid extraditions. It's sort of fucked up.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 04:31:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I found two articles in the Irish Independent referenced by [origo].

Extradition of child deaths driver refused - National News, Frontpage - Independent.ie

Ciaran Tobin's car mounted the footpath in a built-up area of Budapest in the accident seven years ago, killing a five-year-old boy and a two-year-old girl.

A High Court judge yesterday refused a request for Tobin's extradition by the Hungarian authorities, who wanted him to serve a sentence imposed on him by a Budapest court in his absence for negligence causing death in April 2000.

Mr Tobin from Cairn Manor, Ratoath, Co Meath, who is a senior manager with Irish Life plc customer services, Abbey Street, Dublin, was working for the company in Budapest at the time of the accident.

Yesterday, the High Court turned down an application by the Hungarian authorities to extradite the father of two from Ireland.

Mr Justice Michael Peart said he was refusing the extradition request because he was satisfied that Mr Tobin's departure from Hungary could not be defined as 'fleeing', as had been contended on the extradition warrant.

(Minor nitpick: Leányfalu is 20 km to the North of Budapest, not part of it.)

Courts refuse to extradite man in child death crash - National News, Frontpage - Independent.ie

last week the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, meaning Mr Tobin will never face prison as a result of his conviction.

The decision not to extradite the Meath man has infuriated Budapest locals and elements of the Hungarian press which has campaigned for his return to face a jail sentence.

...Following the accident, Mr Tobin was charged with negligent driving causing the children's deaths, was granted bail by a Hungarian court and told to surrender his passport.

Mr Tobin later applied for his passport back as he wanted to return to Ireland with his family for a wedding.

Earlier this year the High Court heard that Tobin went back to Hungary but did not surrender his passport to the authorities on his return.

Seven months after the accident, Mr Tobin and his wife left Hungary and returned to Ireland permanently as his three-year contract with his employer had come to its natural end.

(The bail BTW was 500,000 Ft, or about €2,000.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 06:12:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]