herald

Wednesday 23 January 2019

Body-in-suitcase bail absconder is released again

There is major concern that a suspect wanted by the Dutch authorities for the murder of a 29-year-old Dublin man who was chopped up and stuffed in a suitcase has been granted High Court bail yet again.

Gardai had to arrest Kenneth Brunell on two previous occasions on bench warrants after he failed to appear in court as his battle against extradition to the Netherlands continues.

Keith Ennis, from Walkinstown, was stabbed to death, and his body cut into pieces and dumped in a suitcase in a canal on the northern outskirts of Amsterdam in March 2009.

SHOCKING

Mr Brunell (28) is one of three Dublin men wanted in the Netherlands in relation to the shocking murder, and sources say that Dutch authorities are "very concerned" after he was granted bail again yesterday despite gardai having to conduct special operations to arrest him after he failed to appear at previous court sittings.

Mr Brunell breached bail conditions on two occasions in the past, the first because of an alleged threat on his life and the second due to family issues.

On a previous occasion, gardai had to put a major operation in place to arrest Brunell in the Finglas area of the capital while another time, Mr Brunell only presented himself to gardai when it seemed likely that a bail cash surety provided by his dad would be forfeited.

Despite these incidents, Mr Brunell was granted bail again yesterday by the High Court.

Mr Justice John Edwards said that there was nothing to indicate that Mr Brunell was "conspiring with anyone to flee the jurisdiction".

"Mr Brunell is only a person who faces an accusation and has not been convicted of murder. There is nothing to indicate conspiring with anyone else to flee the jurisdiction."

Mr Brunell and Barry McArdle (28), from Drimnagh, are wanted to stand trial for the murder of Mr Ennis.

McArdle was previously jailed for eight years here for drugs offences.

Three months ago, an order was made to surrender both men to the Dutch authorities, but that decision is being appealed to the Supreme Court.

In court, Brunell's father offered to put up €6,000 to ensure that he attends future court appearances.

A third man has already been extradited.

He is convicted drug dealer Philip County (32), from Foxdene Gardens, Lucan, who was extradited to Holland from Ireland in April, 2011.

County did not oppose the extradition order, which was granted almost eight months after the Dutch authorities had first requested it.

He was extradited to the Netherlands after serving a jail sentence in relation to a massive seizure of ecstasy tablets at an apartment in Park West in Dublin in December 2009.

County made a number of court appearances in the Netherlands and was held in solitary confinement in a high-security Dutch prison.

kfoy@herald.ie

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