Friday 20 September 2019

Estonian national pleads guilty to conspiring to murder James 'Mago' Gately

James 'Mago' Gately
James 'Mago' Gately

Alison O'Riordan

An Estonian man has pleaded guilty at the non-jury Special Criminal Court to conspiring to murder a man in Northern Ireland last year.

Imre Arakas (59), with an address in Sopruse, Tallinn, Estonia, admitted today to conspiring with others not before the court to murder James Gately in Northern Ireland between April 3rd and April 4th last year, contrary to Section 71 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006.

Paul Greene SC, prosecuting, told the three-judge court this morning that Arakas could be arraigned on the single count.

Dressed in a blue t-shirt and wearing his hair long to his shoulders, Arakas stood up and faced the court.

When the registrar read the indictment to Arakas and asked him how he was pleading, he replied, “Guilty”.

Mr Greene told the court that a trial date had previously been fixed for January 14 next year and that could now be vacated.

Michael Bowman SC, representing Arakas, requested that a governor’s report be prepared on behalf of his client and this was granted by the court.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, sitting with Judge Sinéad Ní Chúlacháin and Judge Cormac Dunne, remanded the defendant in custody until November 30, when he will be sentenced.

The High Court endorsed a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) from Lithuania in February 2018 in relation to serious charges Arakas will face there once his jail term is completed in Ireland.

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