26 Sept 2022

Bail refused in trademark case, Longford court hears

Longford Courthouse.

A defendant arrested in the Czech Republic on foot of a European Arrest Warrant was refused bail by Judge Deirdre Gearty at a sitting of Longford District Court

A defendant arrested in the Czech Republic on foot of a European Arrest Warrant was refused bail by Judge Deirdre Gearty at a sitting of Longford District Court. 

Ismaeil Abdelkhalik (65) whose charge sheet address was 23 Derravarra, Mullingar, Westmeath was arrested on the morning of the court sitting.

Garda David Meade told the court he arrested the defendant at Dublin Airport on foot of 33 European Arrest Warrants. Prior to his Longford District Court hearing the defendant spent two months in custody in the Czech Republic.

The officer said the charges faced by Mr Abdelkhalik related to a Section 92 breach of the Trademark Act. The Garda told Judge Gearty the defendant made no reply to the charges and said the State was looking to have the defendant remanded in custody.

Garda Meade objected to bail under O'Callaghan ruled. He put forward the belief that this was covered by the strength of the evidence and suggested Mr Abdelkhalik no longer had ties to the State.

The Garda said the breach of the trademark act related to counterfeit items seized at locations connected with Mr Abdelkhalik.

Though a Norwegian and Egyptian citizen, the defendant now lives in Birmingham, but lived in Mullingar for a seven year period up to 2017.

Garda Meade stated that the DPP was seeking trial on indictment, but needed time to prepare the book of evidence.

The defendant's solicitor, Louis Kiernan, said his client co-operated fully with the investigation. The defendant was first interviewed about the matter in 2016 and was unaware that the prosecution had progressed. Mr Abdelkhalik did not know the EAW was in place until he was arrested in the Czech Republic.

Mr Kiernan said his client travelled extensively in the last number of years, but his arrest two months ago was the first time he became aware of the arrest warrant. The solicitor described Mr Abdelkhalik as a market trader who runs an enamel sign company in Birmingham. He told the court the defendant frequently travels to his native Egypt where his wife is undergoing cancer treatment.

Mr Kiernan suggested his client is willing to make a substantial cash lodgement and the defendant's brother travelled from Belfast with €8,000 and £2,000. Garda Meade confirmed Mr Abdelkhalik surrendered both his Norwegian and Egyptian passports.

In the witness box the defendant gave an undertaking to attend every court sitting and described having a very bad time while in custody in the Czech Republic.

Judge Gearty said she could not accede to the bail request. The judge said the threshold of the O'Callaghan rules had been met by the State in the case. She adjourned the matter to August 11 for the preparation of the Book of Evidence and directed that the defendant appear before the sitting of Mullingar District court on that day by video link.

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