SAN FRANCISCO — A U.S. judge Monday ordered three escapees from a prison in Northern Ireland extradited to Britain, finding that they would not be punished for their political views if returned to British custody.
Kevin Artt, Pol Brennan and Terence Kirby, who all escaped from Northern Ireland's Maze Prison in 1983, were arrested in California between 1992 and 1994.
Artt and Kirby were convicted in Northern Ireland of murder; Brennan on explosives charges. They are alleged to have links to the Irish Republican Army.
The men opposed a British extradition request, invoking a clause of the U.S.-British treaty that bars extradition when people would be punished because of race, religion or political opinions if extradited.
U.S. District Judge Charles Legge rejected their arguments.
"Respondents were convicted because they committed serious crimes, not because they are Catholics or Nationalists or Republicans," Legge wrote.