UK firefighter faces extradition to Portugal

A firefighter from the UK convicted of football violence in Albufeira during Euro 2004 has spoken of his shock at being arrested at the request of Portuguese authorities.

Garry Mann, 51, who has always maintained his innocence, was convicted along with 10 other fans of public order offences and resisting arrest. He was jailed for two years. However, he was deported to the UK immediately and released.

Reports in the British press last week said that he was arrested at his home in Kent by Metropolitan Police under a European arrest warrant.

He appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court the same day and was released on bail until yesterday (Thursday).

Mann said that in a court case in 2005 following his arrest in Portugal, when the Metropolitan Police tried to get him banned from football matches, the judge ruled that his rights under Article 6 of the Human Rights Act had been breached at the Portuguese trial.

“I cannot understand why the Government is working with the Portuguese government if a judge has ruled my human rights were breached,” he said. “I do not understand why they are trying to extradite me.”

It is not known what prompted the Portuguese authorities to ask for Garry Mann, an animal rescue expert with the Kent Fire and Rescue Service, to be rearrested.

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