Saturday 18 November 2017

Former friend of accused tells trial he had 'nothing to gain' by telling truth

* Former friend of murder accused Alan Wilson is giving evidence against him at his trial
* Wilson is accused of killing teenager Mariaora Rostas (18)
* He has denied the charge
* His former friend Fergus O'Hanlon says he has 'nothing to gain' from co-operating with gardai
* Trial has been told O'Hanlon is a convicted criminal and has been granted immunity from prosecution

The body of Marioara Rostas (inset) being removed from the Dublin Mountains in 2012

Eimear Cotter

A FORMER friend of murder accused Alan Wilson who is giving evidence against him at his trial has claimed he had "nothing to gain" by co-operating with gardai and telling the truth of what happened to Marioara Rostas.

Fergus O’Hanlon also denied he was driving the Ford Mondeo registered to Mr Wilson on the day Ms Rostas disappeared in 2008.

He further denied that he refused to take part in a formal identification parade because he was afraid that Dumitru Rostas, Marioara's younger brother, would pick him out at the car driver.

The Central Criminal Court previously heard that Mr O'Hanlon was a convicted criminal who had been given immunity from prosecution.

Mr O'Hanlon (37) was being cross-examined this morning by counsel for the defence, Michael O'Higgins SC, in the trial.

Mr Wilson (35), of New Street Gardens, Dublin 8, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Marioara (18) at Brabazon Street, The Coombe, between January 7 and 8, 2008.

She went missing while begging in traffic in Dublin city centre on January 6 that year and her body was found in a shallow grave in woods in the Kippure-Sally Gap area on the Dublin/Wicklow border four years later, on January 23, 2012.

On Monday morning, Mr O'Hanlon denied he killed Ms Rostas.

"I told the truth. I burned the body and cleaned up the crime scene after. I did and I admit it", he told the court.

Mr O'Hanlon continued: "I was the one who got the body for the gardai. Why would I unload all of this on me if I killed her? If there's no body there's no crime".

He told the court he had nothing to gain by telling the truth.

"I'm in witness protection. I've lost my kids and everything over this. I've nothing to gain and everything to lose," he said.

Questioning Mr O'Hanlon over his refusal to take part in a formal identification parade, Mr O'Higgins put it to him he was afraid he would be identified as driving a Ford Mondeo registered to Mr Wilson on the day Ms Rostas disappeared.

Mr O'Hanlon said that at the time Ms Rostas disappeared he would never have taken part in an identification parade and would "never co-operate with gardai in any way".

The trial continues before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy.

Irish Independent

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