By Liam Heylin
Threats to cut the heads off Jews were allegedly made by a 39-year-old man dressed in dark robes and carrying the Koran who appeared before Cork District Court today.
Smael Heirouche faces a charge of making threats to kill or cause serious harm. He was remanded in custody today until next week.
Inspector Ronan Kennelly said the prosecution was opposed to bail being granted to the accused.
Detective Garda Geraldine Daly testified that she arrested Smael Heirouche at the Bridewell garda station on Wednesday November 16.
Det. Garda Daly said it was a serious offence – making a threat to kill or cause serious harm – and that it carried a jail sentence of 10 years on conviction.
The detective said she took statements of complaint from two French nationals who were living with the accused at a rented property at James Street, Cork.
They stated that his attitude towards them changed on Monday, November 14 when his behaviour became erratic.
“He was quoting the Koran. They did not have the same belief. He did not take kindly to this. He made reference to recent terrorist attacks in France. He said it was excellent and it gave him great joy,” Det. Garda Daly said.
As this allegation was being put before Judge Leo Malone at courtroom 4 at the courthouse on Washington Street, the defendant spoke up from the body of the court and said: “It did.”
Detective Garda Daly continued with her evidence and said two French men who made complaints to gardaí stated that the defendant called them Zionists and allegedly said: “Zionists should have their throats cut.”
One of the complainants told gardaí that Smael Heirouche rubbed his hand against his (the complainant’s) throat, while wearing long black robes and carrying the Koran.
“He believed Mr Heirouche was going to kill him,” Det. Garda Daly said. She said the injured party recorded some of this interaction on his mobile phone.
Det. Garda Daly said Heirouche claimed he was making the threat in the name of Islamic extremism. During interview he allegedly said that if he had a sword he would cut the heads off Jews.
When the defendant was arrested he allegedly gave a first name with a spelling which was different to that which appeared on his passport and he said he could not remember his surname.
Interviewed by gardaí, he said that anything he may have said to the two French people was as a messenger of the Lord.
The defendant has had his lease terminated at the address at James Street and was consequently of no fixed address.
He told gardaí he was born in Amsterdam. He had flights booked to London and Marrakech.
Solicitor Emmet Boyle was appointed to represent the accused on free legal aid. However, the defendant said he did not want legal representation.