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Last Updated: Friday, 27 January 2006, 17:22 GMT
Garland bailsmen to forfeit cash
Workers' Party leader Sean Garland
Workers' Party leader Sean Garland failed to answer bail
Three men who posted bail for fugitive Workers' Party leader Sean Garland have forfeited 9,000 each.

Mr Garland, 71,former Official IRA chief, absconded after being freed on bail following a bid by the US government to have him extradited.

He had been due to face multi-million dollar counterfeiting charges.

The bailsmen were retired Workers' Party officer Dessie O'Hagan, party secretary John Lowry and Belfast businessman Roderick Hassan.

Mr Garland, from Navan, Co Meath, was arrested in Belfast last October on the eve of his party's annual conference in the city.

Grand Jury

The next day he appeared at Belfast Recorder's Court and the US authorities applied for his extradition.

The court was told that a US Grand Jury indictment last May alleged that Mr Garland had "engaged with others since the early 1990s, in buying, transporting and either passing as genuine or re-selling large quantities of high quality counterfeit $100 notes".

The Crown opposed Mr Garland's release on bail claiming there was "a substantial risk that he would not come back to face the extradition application".

He was freed, however, after providing an address in County Down and the three cash sureties.

The residence restriction was later lifted to allow him to return to the Irish Republic to receive medical treatment.

When his case came back to court in December, he did not appear and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

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