Sunday 25 June 2017

Garda denies suggestion that he 'guided' witnesses as to what to say in their statements in murder trial

Vesel Jahiri, left, and Anna Finnegan, right. Photo: Collins
Vesel Jahiri, left, and Anna Finnegan, right. Photo: Collins

Alison O'Riordan

A garda under cross-examination by a murder accused has denied a suggestion that he “guided” witnesses as to what to say in their statements.

Detective Garda Brendan O’Hora was today being cross-examined by Vesel Jahiri in the fourth week of his trial at the Central Criminal Court.

Mr Jahiri (35), originally from Kosovo but of no fixed abode, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Anna Finnegan (25) atAllendale Glen, Clonsilla, Dublin 15 on September 21, 2012.

He has also pleaded not guilty to assaulting Karl Finnegan, causing him harm, at the same place on the same date.

Mr Jahiri has dismissed his legal team and is now representing himself at the trial.

Yesterday, Det Gda Brendan O’Hora told prosecution counsel, Mr Patrick Marrinan SC, that he conducted a memo of interview with Mr Jahiri at 5.30pm on September 23 in Blanchardstown Garda Station.

Under cross-examination by Mr Jahiri, Det Gda Brendan O’Hora denied he told Karl Finnegan to say that he banged his head on the floor in his statement and that is why he could not remember anything. Mr Jahiri said Karl Finnegan remembered everything else and he also said there was no evidence of Mr Finnegan banging his head.

The court previously heard evidence from Mr Finnegan in which he described blacking out after hitting the kitchen floor and awaking with stab wounds after Mr Jahiri came at him with a knife.

Mr Jahiri put it to Det Gda O'Hora that another witness, Joan Broe, said in her initial statement that she saw Mr Jahiri kicking Anna Finnegan on the night. The accused said this statement was put to him by Det Gda O'Hora during their interview. Det Gda O’Hora denied he told Ms Broe to say this.

The accused put it to Det Gda O'Hora that he “guided” Mr Finnegan and Ms Broe “to say all these things at the beginning.” Det Gda O’Hora denied this and said: “That’s not correct I didn’t guide anyone.”

Ms Broe previously gave evidence in this trial and said that she was “100 per cent certain” about her account of seeing Mr Jahiri chase his former partner, bring her to the ground and punch her to her right hand side.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Paul Coffey and a jury of nine men and three women.

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