herald

Monday 23 October 2017

Trial witness admits repeatedly lying over girl's disappearance

A FORMER friend of murder accused Alan Wilson who is giving evidence against him at his trial has admitted he repeatedly lied to gardai when questioned about the disappearance of Marioara Rostas.

Fergus O'Hanlon accepted he told gardai he knew nothing about the disappearance of the Romanian teenager when he did know what had happened.

The Central Criminal Court previously heard Mr O'Hanlon had been given immunity from prosecution.

Mr O'Hanlon (37) was being cross examined by counsel for the defence, Michael O'Higgins SC, for a second day.

Mr Wilson (35), of New Street Gardens, Dublin 8, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Marioara Rostas (18) at Brabazon Street, The Coombe, between January 7 and 8, 2008.

She went missing while begging in traffic in Dublin city centre on January 6 that year and her body was found in a shallow grave in woods in the Kippure-Sally Gap area on the Dublin/Wicklow border on January 23, 2012.

LIAR

Mr O'Higgins put it to Mr O'Hanlon he was a "cold, manipulative liar" who "lies and lies and lies".

He also suggested Mr O'Hanlon had perjured himself and was "lying at every answer he gave".

The lawyer put a series of questions to Mr O'Hanlon which he had been asked by gardai when interviewed about Marioara's disappearance.

Mr O'Hanlon accepted he repeatedly lied to gardai, telling them he didn't know anything about Ms Rostas's disappearance when he did.

He also denied ever seeing Marioara.

"It was lies. I said I did not know anything when I did," said Mr O'Hanlon.

"It might have taken me six and a half years but at least I was man enough to tell the truth. It's not easy for me to sit here," he added.

Mr O'Higgins also questioned Mr O'Hanlon about a series of incidents where, he claimed, Mr O'Hanlon lied to gardai.

He asked him about an alleged incident where his partial fingerprint was found on a box of ammunition.

In his evidence to the Central Criminal Court, Mr O'Hanlon claimed cannabis he had bought had previously been stored in the box, and that was why his fingerprint was on it.

However, Mr O'Higgins said Mr O'Hanlon gave another version of events to gardai when he was interviewed, claiming he met a man in Crumlin who had offered him the ammunition for sale.

When asked about the different versions, Mr O'Hanlon said: "I wasn't going to tell them [gardai] the man was selling me hash," adding, "I was buying the hash and was offered the ammunition."

Mr O'Higgins questioned Mr O'Hanlon: "Is there a single line of truth in anything you say?"

Earlier, Mr O'Hanlon denied a photofit of a suspect in the investigation into Marioara's disappearance looked like him.

The photofit was drawn up after Ms Rostas' brother gave a description of the man driving the car Marioara was seen getting into. Mr O'Hanlon denied it was him driving the car.

He said he did not take part in an identification parade as it would be seen as co-operating with gardai.

"I knew only one thing would come out of that and that would be a bullet in the head."

He also denied he killed Ms Rostas.

"I told the truth. I burned the body and cleaned up the crime scene after. I did and I admit it", he told the court.

The trial continues.

hnews@herald.ie

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