Criminal Justice Act, 1994

Transfer of prisoner in State to give evidence or assist investigation outside State.

53.—(1) The Minister may, if he thinks fit, issue a warrant providing for any person (referred to in this section as “a prisoner”) serving a sentence in a prison or any other place for which rules or regulations may be made under the Prisons Acts, 1826 to 1980, or section 13 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1960 , to be transferred to a country or territory outside the State for the purpose—

(a) of giving evidence in criminal proceedings there, or

(b) of being identified in, or otherwise by his presence assisting, such proceedings or the investigation of an offence.

(2) No warrant shall be issued under this section in respect of any prisoner unless he has consented to being transferred as mentioned in subsection (1) of this section and that consent may be given either—

(a) by the prisoner himself, or

(b) in circumstances in which it appears to the Minister inappropriate, by reason of the prisoner's physical or mental condition or his youth, for him to act for himself, by a person appearing to the Minister to be an appropriate person to act on his behalf.

(3) The effect of a warrant under this section shall be to authorise—

(a) the taking of the prisoner to a place in the State and his delivery at a place of departure from the State into the custody of a person representing the appropriate authority of the country or territory to which the prisoner is to be transferred, and

(b) the bringing of the prisoner back to the State and his transfer in custody to the place where he is liable to be detained under the sentence to which he is subject.

(4) The Minister shall not issue a warrant under subsection (1) of this section unless provision is made by the law of the country or territory or by arrangement with the appropriate authority thereof that the prisoner will not be proceeded against, sentenced, detained or subjected to any other restriction on his personal freedom in respect of any offence against the law of that country or territory committed before his departure from the State.

(5) Where a warrant has been issued in respect of a prisoner under this section, he shall be deemed to be in legal custody at any time when he is being taken under the warrant to or from any place or being kept in custody under the warrant.

(6) A person authorised by or for the purposes of a warrant issued under this section to take the prisoner to or from any place or to keep him in custody shall have all the powers, authority, protection and privileges of a member of the Garda Síochána.

(7) If the prisoner escapes or is unlawfully at large, he may be arrested without warrant by a member of the Garda Síochána and taken to any place to which he may be taken under a warrant issued under this section.

(8) This section shall apply to a person in custody awaiting trial or sentence and a person committed to prison for default in paying a fine or a sum due under a confiscation order or confiscation co-operation order as it applies to a prisoner and the reference in subsection (3) (b) of this section to a sentence shall be construed accordingly.