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The 55-year-old had fled to Ireland in 2020 during a trial for breaching restraining order 
The High Court has ordered the extradition of on-the-run fraudster Farah Damji to the UK, where she is wanted for fleeing a trial. 
However, Damji has been remanded on continuing bail until next week, as the court heard she intends to appeal the decision. 
Damji (55) fled to Ireland in February 2020 during a trial in the UK, at which she was convicted in her absence by Southwark Crown Court, London, of twice breaching a restraining order in April and June 2018. 
Damji, who presented herself as an Icelandic national and was living in Dublin, is the daughter of a deceased South African-born property tycoon and has a criminal record for fraud and theft stretching back to the 1990s. 
She absconded from the London court after three days of her trial but told the High Court that she did this on medical advice. The UK court issued a bench warrant and she was arrested in Dublin in August 2020. 
On Monday, Damji appeared at the High Court before Mr Justice Paul Burns. 
Mr Justice Burns, in making his order for surrender, said the court noted medical reports that Damji had been diagnosed with “complex” PTSD and that she was in receipt of psychological therapy in Ireland. He said the court also noted that she was instituting legal proceedings in the UK. 
Mr Justice Burns said that Damji intends to take a judicial review and civil proceedings in the UK regarding both the legality of the warrant issued for her and her treatment at the hands of the UK government in the context of mental health issues. Damji had argued that if she was surrendered, she would be returned to the same prison she had complained of in her objections to surrender. 
The judge said that these were “insufficient” grounds to challenge the surrender as Damji would only be serving a “short period” of incarceration in the UK and was free to pursue her litigation efforts. He said there was no evidence that incarceration would interfere with her legal matters. 
At the hearing on Monday, Damji’s counsel, Joanne Williams BL, handed in two reports for Mr Justice Burns’s consideration and said mental health services in female prisons in the UK were “inadequate” for the needs of her client. 
Mr Justice Burns said he was not satisfied that the standard of mental health services in UK prisons was so deficient that it would preclude her surrender. Mr Justice Burns said that while he had “sympathy” for Damji’s mental health issues, the matter had to be decided by the law, even though she had received “different and possibly conflicting” diagnoses in the past. 
After the judgment, Ms Williams asked the judge for a date to make an application for a certificate to appeal the surrender. Mr Justice Burns said the application could be heard on Monday, February 7th. 
Ms Williams then applied for a postponement of the surrender so that her client could contest a charge before the Irish courts arising from her August 2020 arrest. 
The barrister said that Damji also wanted to pursue her advocacy work when it came to prison institutions, that this matter was close to her heart and was something Damji felt “very strongly about”. Mr Justice Burns said that he was not sure if “strong feelings” constituted a reason to postpone the surrender under “humanitarian grounds”, as argued by Ms Williams. 
Ms Williams also said that Damji could be impeded in her judicial review proceedings if incarcerated in the UK and that her client was awaiting a response from the Prosecution Service in the UK. 
“People bring judicial reviews all the time when they are incarcerated,” replied the judge. 
Wait for trial 
Emily Farrell SC, for the State, said that there would be a 12-month wait before a trial could be heard on Damji’s Irish charge and that the DPP had instructed for the matter to be disposed of summarily. 
Ms Farrell said that there was a possibility that the DPP could withdraw the charge and that Damji already enjoyed the presumption of innocence, regarding wanting to clear her name. 
Mr Justice Burns said cases in the State did not proceed in someone’s absence and that if Damji wanted to contest matters, she could return here to do so after serving her time in the UK. 
The judge refused the application for a postponement, saying that he could not justify it on the basis of the severity of that charge, nor on the legal matters raised by Damji. 
However, he said the court would accede to a bail application made by Ms Williams. He remanded Damji on bail to appear on Monday next for an application to appeal the surrender. 
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