NEWS FROM CELTIC LEAGUE
Yesterday (2nd October 2013) prisoner Michael Campbell was released from custody and transferred to the Irish Embassy in Vilnius, Lithuania where he is awaiting his repatriation to Ireland.
Campbell’s release follows a Lithuanian High Court judgement, which ruled yesterday that there were serious concerns over his conviction. Campbell was arrested in 2008 as part of a sting operation involving the British, Irish and Lithuanian intelligence services and convicted in October 2011 of supporting the Real IRA, illegal possession of weapons and attempted smuggling. However, Campbell has always insisted that he was set up as part of a sting operation by the security services that were intent on arresting him.
Lithuanian counsel Ingrida Botyiene said:
“It was unexpected, we thought that this case would reach the European Court of Human Rights, we thought it would go a longer distance. Some very serious things are not right in this case but we are happy he was freed.”
On 12th September 2013, the Celtic League received a letter from the Lithuanian Vice Minister of Justice stating that Mr Campbell was free to lodge a complaint if he believed that he was treated unlawfully during the pre trial or trial stage. The League wrote a letter to the Lithuanian Minister of Justice in August 2013 requesting that the Campbell case was re examined in view of the tenuous evidence his conviction was based on and his claims that his human rights had been breached. The League pointed out in their letter that in view of the fact that Lithuania holds the EU presidency for the next year and that one of its top priorities is upholding the human rights of the citizens of Europe, it was about time that Campbell’s case was reviewed.
A statement released by the Campbell family yesterday thanked supporters who knew the “horrific injustice imposed on Michael and the denial of his human rights as an Irish citizen and refused to be complicit in that abuse through silence.”
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