Once an item is live it should not be removable (only retireable). If you remove an item that have been live even if it has previously been retired it can effect third-party application trying to sync metadata user OAI-PMH. It may also have impact on other aspects of EPrints, especially involving export.
It maybe should still be possible to remove (once) live items but this should be very difficult. E.g. require a permission that even admin users do not have by default. Also when an admin with this advanced permission tries to remove an item (once) live they should receive a much more strict warning about the consequences of removing such an item.
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I think my latest commit meets the requirements discussed. I have added info about the new permission being required to explain why "Destroy Item" will not be an option for some items on the review page, if they have previously been live. However, I cannot think of anywhere appropriate to make repository admins more generally aware of this and how they might re-enable such a permission. I can already imagine frantic emails on the tech list saying: "I cannot remove item X that has confidential information in it."