Dundalk murder accused Mohamed Morei to face fitness-to-plead hearing

A youth accused of murdering a Japanese man in a stabbing in Dundalk is to face a fitness-to-plead hearing to determine whether he should stand trial, a court has heard.

Dundalk murder accused Mohamed Morei to face fitness-to-plead hearing

By Tom Tuite

A youth accused of murdering a Japanese man in a stabbing in Dundalk is to face a fitness-to-plead hearing to determine whether he should stand trial, a court has heard.

Mohamed Morei, 18, has been held in custody since January 4 after he was charged with the murder of 24-year-old Yosuke Sasaki on the previous day at the Long Avenue, in Dundalk, Co. Louth.

He was unable to attend 11 subsequent hearings at Cloverhill District Court.

The accused has been receiving ongoing medical care in the Central Mental Hospital (CMH).

In June five additional charges were put to him.

He appeared again at Cloverhill District Court today when Judge Alan Mitchell was told the book of evidence was not ready.

Mr Morei, dressed in a tracksuit, listened to the proceedings with the help of an Arabic interpreter but did not address the court.

Defence solicitor Barry Callan asked for a two-week adjournment for a psychiatric report on his client to be completed. Earlier he had said he had concerns at Mr Morei’s fitness to plead and he required the report.

He also had concerns at his client’s capacity to give instructions, he had told the court at a previous hearing.

Today he said he wanted the report to be completed “to determine my client’s fitness to plead or otherwise".

He cited Section Four of the Criminal Law (Insanity) Act 2006 saying Mr Morei would be sent forward to Central Criminal Court on that issue alone and that would determine whether or not there would be a trial.

A State solicitor said the book of evidence was not yet complete but in light of the issue being raised by the defence it will only be served on the accused if he was found fit to plead and stand trial.

The prosecution acknowledged that in those circumstances the defence application was appropriate.

The judge directed that a copy of the psychiatric report would be handed over to the defence.

Mr Callan said he expected it would be ready next week.

He confirmed to the judge that he was raising the point of fitness to plead.

Yosuke Sasaki
Yosuke Sasaki

Judge Mitchell further remanded the accused in custody to appear again on September 6 next.

The section of the legislation cited in court states: “any question as to whether that person is fit to be tried shall be determined by the court of trial to which the person would have been sent forward”.

In addition to murder he has five other charges: assault causing harm to two named men at the Inner Relief Road and on Quay Street, in Dundalk on January 3; criminal damage to a car rear window at the Long Avenue, on the same date as well another for trespassing with intent to cause criminal damage at a property there between January 2 and January 3 last; the final charge was for obstruction of gardaí at Dundalk station on January 3, 2018.

In June, Garda Damien Welby told the court the accused replied “I don’t remember any of this” when the trespass charge was put to him and he said “I don’t remember anything” in response to the criminal charge.

The Director of Public Prosecutions had directed that Mr Morei is to face trial on indictment in the Central Criminal Court on all charges.

Mr Sasaki, from Ebina, west of Tokyo, was fatally stabbed on The Long Avenue shortly before 9am on January 3 last.

He had worked at National Pen, a call centre in Dundalk, Co. Louth and had lived in Ireland for the past year.

Mr Morei was initially remanded in custody by Dundalk District Court on January 4 after he was charged with the murder of Mr Sasaki.

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