Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

Complete list of 8,000+ Thatcher statements & texts of many of them

1988 Dec 2 Fr
Margaret Thatcher

Remarks on the Father Ryan case (meeting with Belgian Prime Minister)

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Document kind: Remarks
Venue: Rhodes
Source: Thatcher Archive: COI transcript
Journalist: -
Editorial comments: Around 1300 local time? There is tape of the encounter in the Thatcher Archive: the BBC's John Simpson asked the initial question. 
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 192
Themes: Foreign policy (Western Europe - non-EU), Terrorism, Northern Ireland, Law & order

Interviewer

Prime Minister, may we have a quick word?

What was the tone of your meeting with Mr. Martens?

Prime Minister

I do not think it is so much the tone that matters as the decision.

We have worked very carefully with the Belgian Authorities over the past weeks and months to try to see that an extradition order was valid and that the Patrick Ryanperson concerned was extradited to stand trial for certain offences.

That extradition order was upheld by the First Court in Belgium. It was upheld again in the Belgian Court of Appeal. The Belgian Cabinet decided not to extradite. [end p1]

Yes, we were dismayed with that decision. It severely dents our confidence in fighting terrorism and we remember the amount of effort we put in over the extradition orders concerning the Heysel case, because we felt that people should be arraigned before a proper court so that they can stand proper trial and the matter be properly adjudicated.

The two matters contrast very much indeed. Yes, our confidence is dented.