Irishman facing extradition to US for alleged rhino horns trafficking awarded €16k for wrongful arrest in another case

By December 31, 2019Illegal trade
Owen Conlon, The Irish Sun | December 26, 2019

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An Irishman facing extradition to the US for alleged trafficking of rhino horns has been awarded €16,000 by a Swiss court for wrongful arrest in another rhino-related case.

John Slattery, 30, is alleged by US authorities to have been one of three men who travelled to Texas to buy €8,500 of rhino body parts from a taxidermist.

Feds claim after being refused permission to purchase because they were not US citizens, Slattery and the others got a local “straw buyer” to get them and then falsified paperwork to sell them on for $50,000.

Slattery, who is fighting extradition, has yet to enter a defence before the High Court.

Cash Windfall

However, the Irish Sun can reveal he recently received a cash windfall from Switzerland after taking a wrongful arrest case there.

Slattery, with an address at Old Barrack View, Rathkeale, Co Limerick, had gone to court after a three-month spell in custody in 2014.

He had been stopped at a routine police checkpoint near the city of Freiburg on March 3, 2014, and accused of taking part in the robbery of a rhino horn worth €150,000 in Geneva three years earlier in which an antiques dealer was pepper sprayed in the face.

Fingerprints Found

Slattery’s fingerprints had been found on glass protecting the exhibit and had been picked out of photos shown to the victim by police.

Slattery admitted having visited the scene days beforehand, but produced documents which he said proved he was in the UK at the time of the robbery in February 2011.

Despite this, he was still handed a six-month suspended sentence.

This was reversed upon appeal two weeks ago and authorities were ordered to pay Slattery €16,000 compensation for spending 93 days in jail.

Slattery was unable to attend the hearing, as he has been in custody since being arrested in France on foot of a US extradition warrant in 2015.