Monday 20 January 2020

Gardaí reject terror links in 'random' stabbing, court hears

Yosuke Sasaki
Yosuke Sasaki

Eoin Reynolds

Gardaí ruled out terrorist links to the "random" stabbing of a Japanese man by an Egyptian national who claimed to be fighting for Isil, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

Detective Inspector Martin Beggy told the trial of Mohamed Morei, who is accused of murdering one man, stabbing a second and striking a third with a weapon, that the accused's claims that he was part of the terrorist group Isil were "rambling" and "totally incoherent". Describing the attacks as "random", he added: "There is no evidence to suggest any links whatsoever to terrorism."

Consultant psychiatrists Dr Brenda Wright and Dr Paul O'Connell also told the trial the accused had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and at the time of the attacks he believed he was justified in what he was doing and was unable to refrain from the attacks.

Inspector Beggy further revealed Mr Morei had applied for asylum in Britain before travelling to Northern Ireland where he was arrested.

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He then travelled to Dundalk in December 2017 before gardaí took him to Dublin in January 2018 where he applied for asylum and returned to Dundalk by bus the day before the fatal attack.

Mr Morei (21), of no fixed abode, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the murder of Yosuke Sasaki (24) at Long Avenue, Dundalk, Co Louth, on January 3, 2018.

Giving evidence yesterday, Inspector Beggy told Sean Gillane, SC for the State, that during interviews at Dundalk garda station following the attacks, Mr Morei shouted: "I'm from Syria", banged a table and repeatedly shouted "Isis" and "Daesh", two other names for the Isil terror group.

The accused said, "yes" when asked if he represented Isis but later said he didn't represent anybody.

He then said that he killed Mr Sasaki "for God".

The witness described Mr Morei as "rambling" about the British and when asked why he didn't like the British, Mr Morei said: "Because I'm Isis."

Inspector Beggy said Mr Morei showed signs of "serious thought disorder" and said his claims of links to terrorism were "totally incoherent".

Dr Wright told Mr Gillane that there was evidence Mr Morei had a mild intellectual disability. She said at the time of the attacks he was hearing voices in his head that were commanding him to do things.

He believed he had been poisoned by the Police Service of Northern Ireland and that people were making fun of him.

These symptoms were characteristic of schizophrenia, the witness said. She found that he qualified for the verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity because he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, a mental disorder. Delivering their speeches to the jury both Mr Gillane and defence barrister Michael Bowman SC urged the jury to deliver the "only verdict" open to them on the evidence, that of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Ms Justice Carmel Stewart will charge the jury today.

Irish Independent

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