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Last Updated: Friday, 14 January, 2005, 16:33 GMT
Interpol members told of warrant
James Monaghan (left), Martin McCauley and Niall Connolly
Arrest warrants have been issued for the three men
Interpol has informed its 182 member countries about a warrant issued by Colombia for the arrest of three Irishmen convicted of training Marxist rebels in the country.

Niall Connolly, Martin McCauley and James Monaghan were sentenced to 17 years after an appeal court reversed their earlier acquittal on the charge.

The men vanished while on bail awaiting last month's court of appeal decision.

Interpol has issued a "red notice" concerning the men.

Some member countries consider this to be a valid request for provisional arrest, especially if they are linked to the requesting country via a bilateral extradition treaty.

It is not an international arrest warrant.

Found guilty

The men, who had been accused of being IRA members, were found guilty in the April trial of travelling on false passports.

They were acquitted of training Farc guerrillas, but the Colombian attorney general appealed against that decision.

A judge had ordered the men to remain in the country pending the outcome of the appeal. Airport arrests

McCauley, 41, is from Lurgan in County Armagh, Monaghan, 58, is from County Donegal and Connolly, 38, is from Dublin.

The three had been detained at Bogota's El Dorado airport in August 2001 as they were about to board a flight out of the country.

Their arrest led to speculation that Irish republicans had formed links with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc).

The main charge against them was that they had been teaching the rebels urban terrorism techniques.

The Irishmen strenuously denied this, saying they were in the area to monitor the fledgling peace process as well as being eco-tourists.



SEE ALSO:
Colombian sentences 'a travesty'
20 Dec 04 |  Northern Ireland
Hunt on for convicted Irishmen
17 Dec 04 |  Northern Ireland
Adams slams Colombia verdict
16 Dec 04 |  Northern Ireland
Irish trio sentenced in Colombia
16 Dec 04 |  Northern Ireland
Q&A: The Colombia connection
16 Dec 04 |  Northern Ireland
Irishmen stay put in Bogota jail
29 Apr 04 |  Northern Ireland


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