Thursday 23 October 2014

Dutch man stabbed flatmate to death, fled across Europe and then handed himself into police in Rome, trial hears

Published 19/03/2014 | 18:10

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A Dutch man stabbed his flatmate to death in their Dublin apartment, fled across Europe and then handed himself into police in Rome, his trial has heard.

Kamal El Habsati (31) was found with a knife protruding from his chest in his apartment on December 5th 2012.

Originally from Morocco, the Dutch national had moved to Dublin just months before he died.

His flatmate and colleague, Jacky Lumi, had left the country by the time the deceased was found in their apartment at Linnbhla, Santry Cross in Ballymun.

The 42-year-old is now on trial at the Central Criminal Court, where he has pleaded not guilty to his murder there on December 1st 2012.

Detective Sergeant Patrick O’Toole testified that after the discovery of Mr El Habsati’s body, he requested Interpol to issue an alert for Mr Lumi across Europe.

On December 10th, he received a call from Mr Lumi, who was in Rome.

“He said he’d read on the Independent that his flatmate was dead and that he had information. I asked how he’d died,” testified D Sgt O’Toole.

“I stabbed him,” replied the accused.

“He said he wanted to return to Ireland to admit what he’d done but had no money,” said the witness.

Mr Lumi said he had been robbed the night before and had also run out of his depression medication.

The detective sergeant was making arrangements with Italian police to go to Mr Lumi’s hotel when he received a call from Interpol to say he had handed himself in.

The accused was repatriated back to Holland and banned from entering Italy for five years.

D Sgt O’Toole and a colleague flew to meet him at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam.

“I handed him his passport and told him he was free to walk out of the airport, but he said he wanted to travel to Ireland,” explained D Sgt O’Toole.

He arrested the accused in the baggage area of Dublin airport that night.

The witness agreed with Patrick Marrinan SC, defending, that the accused told him he wanted to assist the gardai in every way, and that he later said he wanted justice for the family of the deceased.

The seven men and five women of the jury must decide if Mr Lumi is guilty of murder or manslaughter.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy.

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