John Gilligan, the Dublin man wanted for the murder of Veronica Guerin, has lost his battle against extradition in the House of Lords. The Lords today ruled unanimously that Gilligan could be sent back to Ireland to face a charge of murder and 17 other drugs and firearms charges.Lawyers for Gilligan, whois 47-years-old, had argued that he had been unlawfully held in custody.

The claims were unanimously rejected by the five Law Lords. Lord Browne Wilkinson said the appeal panel would give its reasons later. The prosecution has, however, agreed not to send Gilligan back until the Lords produce a written judgement explaining the reasons for the decision. Gilligan is expected to remain in Belmarsh prison until them.