herald

Sunday 28 May 2017

'I'm stopping this trial', shouts murder accused before hitting barrister

The accused Vesel Jahiri
The accused Vesel Jahiri

A man accused of murdering his former partner punched a prosecuting barrister in the face at the Central Criminal Court.

Vesel Jahiri (35), originally from Kosovo but of no fixed abode, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Anna Finnegan (25) at Allendale Glen, Clonsilla, Dublin 15, on September 21, 2012.

He has also pleaded not guilty to assaulting Karl Finnegan, causing him harm, at the same place on the same date.

Mr Jahiri previously dismissed his legal team and is now representing himself at the trial.

Shouted

Yesterday, Mr Justice Paul Coffey told the jury that Mr Jahiri was not in a position to call any further witnesses in his trial.

The judge then said Mr Jahiri would not be making a closing speech, although he was given an opportunity to do so, and for that reason prosecuting counsel Patrick Marrinan would also not be making a closing speech.

At that point, Mr Jahiri shouted out.

"The judge is refusing to call witnesses. This trial is not going ahead. You broke the law. This trial is going nowhere, I'm stopping it now," he yelled.

The judge told Mr Jahiri that he had given him an opportunity to call witnesses in the morning.

Mr Jahiri said he needed a phone to call potential witnesses.

"I'm in Guantanamo jail," he said.

The accused was told by the judge that he had had the past seven weeks to telephone witnesses.

"My teeth are sick and everything," Mr Jahiri began to shout.

At that point, Mr Marrinan stood up and was about to speak when Mr Jahiri reached across to him and punched him in the face.

Blood could be seen coming from his nose.

Mr Jahiri then leapt across the benches before being wrestled to the ground by five prison officers, who handcuffed him and took him from the courtroom.

The trial was adjourned for 20 minutes before resuming in front of the jury.

"The accused has been removed from court and we will proceed in his absence," said Mr Justice Coffey.

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