Friday 19 July 2019

Ana Kriegel murder trial: How interviews were slowly picked apart to expose lies

Hours of interviews and CCTV helped to convict the two boys

Ana Kriegel (Photo: RTE)
Ana Kriegel (Photo: RTE)
Ana Kriegel (Photo: RTE)
Eimear Cotter

Eimear Cotter

Over 17 hours of interviews, Boy B slowly told gardaí the story of what had happened in that derelict house in Lucan.

It involved the slow and painstaking picking apart of Boy B's stories - deciphering what prosecutor Brendan Grehan SC, in his closing speech, called the "lies, untruths and half truths".

Boy B's first story was given in a statement when gardaí were investigating Ana's disappearance. He was one of the last people to see her in the park, gardaí believed.

In his first account, Boy B told gardaí he had "no clue" what had happened to Ana.

He'd gone to Ana's home around 5pm on May 14 on behalf of Boy A who told him he wanted to sort out some "relationship issues" with Ana.

He and Ana had walked through St Catherine's Park, and she was "very chatty".

Interview: Gda Donal Daly put it to Boy B that he was making it up as he went along. Picture: Collins
Interview: Gda Donal Daly put it to Boy B that he was making it up as he went along. Picture: Collins

She asked him why Boy A wanted to talk to her, and he said she'd find out when they got to where they were going.

Boy B said he stayed slightly behind Ana and Boy A, after they met up with him, so to give them some privacy.

Boy B claimed he left them and went to get a drink. He saw Ana again as she walked back to where they'd originally come from. He told gardaí he said "hey", but she didn't say anything. She had her head down and looked upset.

Boy B said he wasn't really sure where she went after that, and the last time he saw Ana was in the park about 5.30pm or 5.40pm.

The teenager stuck to this account. By the third interview, gardaí had started to question his recollections. They told him they had watched the CCTV footage in the park and at no stage had they seen three people walking the route, as described to them by Boy B. Boy B said he "wasn't really paying attention" to where he was walking.

He was then shown CCTV and he identified Boy A in clips from the other end of the park, around the time he said he and Ana had met up with Boy A.

This was "really strange", he said. Inspector Damien Gannon put it to Boy B there were inconsistencies in his account, and what he had told gardaí did not match the CCTV.

Later, Boy B said he believed the person he identified as Ana, who he passed as he left the park, wasn't in fact her.

Then, at the start of the fourth interview, Boy B told gardaí he was going to re-tell the story as "what I told you yesterday was a lie".

Boy B said he had called for Ana and they went to the park, but did not meet Boy A in the spot he'd previously said.

The boy said he and Ana walked towards the BMX track and met Boy A near it.

Boy B let Ana talk to Boy A for a while, but he stayed back to give them privacy. He got bored and left.

"That's the truth", he said.

The court heard the BMX track was close to the abandoned house. Asked if he had been in the abandoned house that day, Boy B said "on the day I wasn't but I was before".

Boy B was then shown photographs of the crime scene, as well as one of Boy A's boots.

There was blood spatter on the boots and it matched Ana's DNA, gardaí said. "No, no, [Boy A] wouldn't do that", he said.

Boy B was shown a photo of a concrete block, which gardaí said had Ana's blood and hair on it. He told gardaí: "I don't know what happened. I wasn't in the house."

During interview five, gardaí said a witness had seen a teen going into a field near the abandoned house and they believed this was him.

"Ok, I did go into the field, but it was to look around," Boy B said.

Detective Garda Donal Daly put it to Boy B he was making it all up as he went along and owed it to himself, his mother and to Ana to tell the truth.

Boy B then said he, Boy A and Ana walked through the fields and Boy A brought Ana into the house. He was just "tagging along" and didn't go into the house. He started to leave.

"It was then I heard a scream," Boy B said, adding he knew it was Ana. He ran away because he was scared, he said, and he thought Ana and Boy A had been attacked.

Gda Daly told Boy B he needed him to tell the truth, no games, no bits left out.

Boy B said he, Boy A and Ana crossed the ditch and walked towards the house. He stayed behind to give them space. Boy A and Ana stopped at the footpath but he kept walking and went into the house.

Boy B said he walked around a bit and picked up a plank in the corridor, put it down and walked out. He said Boy A and Ana had walked into the house, and he went to follow them, but Boy A told him "we'll be fine, you can go now".

As he was leaving, Boy B said he heard a scream and ran as fast as he could. He thought Boy A could protect Ana because he was strong.

Boy B said he barely slept that night because he was worried about Boy A and Ana.

The next day there were bruises on Boy A's back and he wondered what had happened to him and Ana.

Once Ana's body was found, Boy B said he thought Boy A ran away and something else had happened to Ana.

Gda Daly told Boy B that he needed "the truth".

Boy B said Boy A went into the room with Ana. He was about to leave when he saw Boy A put his arm around Ana and "kind of hugged her".

Gda Daly repeated he wanted the truth, and he knew Boy B hadn't told him everything.

Boy B said Boy A put his arm around Ana and "flipped" her and that's when he [Boy B] ran out of the house.

Gda Daly told Boy B to tell him "every single thing".

Boy B said he saw Boy A "flip her [Ana] and start to choke her". He said Boy A started taking Ana's clothes off. Boy B said Boy A looked up at the door where he [Boy B] was standing and he ran away.

That's when he heard the screaming, he said.

Asked about Ana, Boy B said she had started to cry and kept saying "no, no, don't do this".

Gda Daly asked Boy B to tell him the exact position Ana was in. "She was lying on the floor. [Boy A] was on top of her, choking her as he took off the clothes," he said.

At lunch-time on May 23, after a video of the sixth interview was played to the jury, Boy B suffered a panic attack.

He was advised to rest up for the weekend, and the judge reduced the hours the court was sitting, to manage any stress the boys were feeling.

In the latter interviews in July 2018, Boy B said he didn't say anything to gardaí when they called to his house investigating Ana's disappearance because he was "scared".

He was also afraid of "being framed by [Boy A]" and was "ashamed" as he had run away and not helped Ana.

Asked why he did not go for help when he realised what was happening, Boy B said he was "scared" and "shocked".

Gda Daly put it to Boy B that he could have saved Ana. "I know," he said. Asked why he did not try to save her, Boy B responded: "I don't know."

In the final interview with gardaí, Gda Daly asked Boy B to "tell me the truth".

Boy B said Boy A asked him to call for Ana, citing "relationship issues". They went to the park, and Boy B said he went into the house first, leaving Ana and Boy A outside.

He went through the rooms and when he came out Ana and Boy A were talking.

Boy B said Boy A and Ana then walked inside the house. He was told to leave by Boy A, but he didn't want to go.

Boy B said Boy A started stripping Ana and once he [Boy A] got to her bra he looked up at Boy B and that's when he ran.

Earlier, Boy B said he "had to run" when he realised Boy A was "raping" Ana.

He said Ana was crying and begging Boy A to stop, while Boy A had a "blank face" and was showing no emotion. Boy B subsequently said Boy A was wearing a "zombie mask".

Gda Daly said he believed Boy B was "part of the murder".

The garda put to it Boy B that he brought Ana to the abandoned house. "You brought the prize. You brought her. You lured her to her death, didn't you," Gda Daly said.

"No," replied Boy B.

He said he brought Ana to the house because he thought Boy A was going to talk to her about having a crush on him.

He added: "I told you the truth. I told you everything I saw, everything I remember."

Irish Independent

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