Murder trial in body in suitcase case continues

The trial of a Ukrainian man accused of the murder of a Romanian national whose body was found in a suitcase in the Royal Canal in Dublin continued in the absence of the jury at the Central Criminal Court today.

The trial of a Ukrainian man accused of the murder of a Romanian national whose body was found in a suitcase in the Royal Canal in Dublin continued in the absence of the jury at the Central Criminal Court today.

Legal argument commenced when the trial resumed this morning and the jury of seven men and five women was sent to their room.

Ukranian Igore Derjhack, aged 30, of Mountjoy Square, Dublin has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Romanian national Adrian Bestea between July 8 and 21, 2001.

Derjhack has also pleaded not guilty to the false imprisonment and assault causing harm on Mr Bestea.

Opening the case for the prosecution, Patrick Gageby SC, told the court Mr Bestea's girlfriend had arranged for three men, one of whom was Derjhack, to "rough him up" because he was beating her and she wanted him to leave her flat in Sandymount.

The trial heard the girlfriend, Marina Tsouretseva, met the men on July 8 after she left the flat following an argument in which Bestea, aged 21, had bashed her again.

Later that day at the flat, Derjhack and a man named Oleg who was armed with a wheel-brace, punched Bestea then put him in a chair and tied him up, he said.

The third man, known as Valentin, was sent out to buy drinks, the court heard.

The pair were "inclined to offer at that stage to kill Mr Bestea and possibly a figure of $2000 was offered," Mr Gageby said.

He said Ms Tsouretseva declined the offer, and left Igore and Oleg in the flat while she went to buy some cigarettes.

"When she came back, she will say, Mr Bestea was wrapped in bloody sheets and for practical purposes there was no life in him," he said.

Mr Gageby said she then heard Mr Derjhack say, "We finished him."

He said they decided to put Bestea's body in a suitcase and took it on a bus to Drumcondra where it was thrown into the Royal Canal.

Youths found a suitcase in the canal containing his bruised and bloodied body on July 20.

Gardaí extracted it from the canal and a postmortem found he had been killed by up to 10 blows to the back and side of the head.

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