Man ‘knew he could be charged for statement’

Marioara Rostas

A man who said he helped dispose of Marioara Rostas’s body said he wanted to give a statement against the man charged with murdering her, despite knowing he too could be charged, his solicitor has said.

The solicitor, Bridget Rouse, was yesterday called by the defence after the prosecution closed its case in the trial of the Dublin man charged with her murder.

Alan Wilson, aged 35, of New Street Gardens, has pleaded not guilty to the 18-year-old’s murder at a house on Brabazon St, The Coombe, between January 7 and 8, 2008.

The Romanian teenager disappeared on the afternoon of January 6, after her brother saw her getting into a car with a man in the city centre. Her body was found in a shallow grave on the Wicklow border four years later. She had died of four bullet wounds to her head.

The accused’s former friend, Fergus O’Hanlon, has testified that he arrived to his house on Brabazon St on January 8, 2008, to find Ms Rostas with a hole in her forehead and Mr Wilson holding a gun.

The 37-year-old convicted criminal, who has been granted immunity from prosecution, said he helped Mr Wilson bury her body. The court has heard that he told gardaí in late 2011 that he had information about the case.

Ms Rouse yesterday told the Central Criminal Court that two gardaí approached her on January 3, 2012, and asked if she would advise Mr O’Hanlon, who had waived his privilege to his dealings with her then.

Michael O’Higgins, defending, read from her memo that the gardaí told her that Mr O’Hanlon had asked them for immunity if he made a statement against Mr Wilson and showed them where the body was buried.

The memo continued that the officers said they were not in a position to offer this and it would be a matter for the DPP after considering any statement made.

She said she then went to meet Mr O’Hanlon and explained that immunity would be considered only after making a formal statement and not beforehand.

Under cross-examination by Seán Gillane, prosecuting, Ms Rouse said it was made explicit to her that there could be no deals and that Mr O’Hanlon should know that. She said she conveyed this to her client.

“I made it very clear to him that no offer was being made, that if he wished to make a statement, it was up to him,” she said.

“He said he wished to do that, notwithstanding my advice.”

Asked if this advice included that he might be charged, she replied: “Yes”.

The defence has now also finished its evidence.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy has asked the jury not to return until Monday so that he can deal with a legal matter in their absence.


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