Monday 23 April 2018

Gardai yet to confirm true identity of Dundalk stabbing murder accused

Mohamed Morei Picture: Gerry Mooney
Mohamed Morei Picture: Gerry Mooney

Tom Tuite

GARDAI have yet to confirm the true identity of a youth charged with the murder of a Japanese man in a stabbing in Dundalk in January, a court has heard.

The accused, who has been named as Mohamed Morei and believed to be aged 18, was remanded in custody on January 4 after being charged with the murder of 24-year-old Yosuke Sasaki. He was unable to attend the six subsequent hearings and could not appear at his eighth scheduled hearing today at Cloverhill District Court.

The defendant, whose nationality has not yet been confirmed, has been receiving ongoing medical care in the Central Mental Hospital (CMH) in Dundrum where he could remain for several months. Judge Victor Blake was told by the Prison Service today that youth was still unwell and unable to attend court.

At an earlier stage, Judge Blake had asked for an update on the progress of the case and the court Garda Sergeant Stephen Nalty told him today that there were approximately 400 statements “a significant number of reports”.

It was expected that the case file would be completed within a week and submitted to the State solicitor’s office.

“Enquiries are on-going to establish the defendant’s proper identity but significant progress has been made in the file,” the court was told. Judge Blake also heard that some forensic and toxicology reports were still awaited.

Judge Blake agreed to the prosecution’s request to remand the accused in continuing custody in his absence for two weeks for formal directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions to be obtained.

Judge Blake noted that defence solicitor Barry Callan had made enquiries with the medical team about his client’s treatment. Mr Callan told the court, “I have done and am instructed it could be a significant number of months.”

Ten weeks ago the court was handed a letter from a consultant psychiatrist at the CMH, stating that Mr Morei would not be able to attend court until mid-February but he has not been fit to attend since his first hearing.

Mr Sasaki, from Ebina, west of Tokyo, was fatally stabbed on Avenue Road shortly before 9am on January 3 last.

He had worked at National Pen, a call centre in Dundalk, Co. Louth and had lived in Ireland for the past year.

Following his death, an Irish man was injured when he was stabbed a short time later at a nearby location. At 9.40am, gardai received a report that another local man had been injured in an attack at Seatown Place.

Mr Morei was initially remanded in custody by Dundalk District Court on January 4 after he was charged with the murder of Mr Sasaki.

At that hearing, Garda Inspector Martin Beggy said the youth's nationality had not yet been undetermined.

If he seeks bail this application will have to be made in the High Court, because he is facing a murder charge.

In the week after the incident, the people of Dundalk gathered in the town centre for a candle lit vigil in memory of Mr Sasaki's life. In a letter from his parents read aloud by local councillor John McGahon, they said that their son had been very happy in Ireland.

A fund-raising drive was also launched by local people to help pay for the repatriation of his remains.

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