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Italian accused of murder held for 14 more days

THE Italian man charged with the murder of researcher Tom O'Gorman has been further remanded in custody after a court heard gardai have yet to send a file to the DPP.

Saverio Bellante (34) had the case against him adjourned in his absence at Cloverhill District Court today, after a judge was told he was at the Central Mental Hospital.

Judge Victor Blake remanded him in custody for another two weeks.

Bellante was arrested following the violent death of Mr O'Gorman, whose mutilated body was found by gardai at his home at Beech Park Avenue, Castleknock.

Bellante, who is from Palermo in Sicily, but had been lodging with Mr O'Gorman, is accused of murdering him between January 11 and 12.

CHARGE

He had been due to appear in court today for the second time since his arrest at Mr O'Gorman's home last Sunday.

He was brought before Blanchardstown District Court on Monday, where Judge David McHugh heard he had replied to the charge after caution: "I am guilty". At the time, he had told the court he did not want a lawyer and wished to legally represent himself.

Today, State Solicitor Rachel Joyce told Judge Blake the defendant was at the Central Mental Hospital and would not be produced. A psychiatrist's letter was handed into court.

She applied for a two-week remand in custody. Solicitor Michael Staines said he was now representing the accused and consented to the remand.

He also applied for free legal aid and for certification for an Italian interpreter. Mr Staines then said there had been a large amount of publicity in the case and asked the judge to "warn the media to be very careful about what they write".

He said the subjudice rule had already been broken and his office had written to the DPP.

Judge Blake "endorsed" what Mr Staines said about this. He granted an order for disclosure of prosecution material to the defence. He deferred the issue of legal aid.

hnews@herald.ie


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