Two teenagers will go on trial tomorrow, having pleaded not guilty to murdering Kildare schoolgirl Anastasia Kriegel, in a case that the judge warned would be upsetting.
Ms Kriegel’s body was discovered at a derelict house in Co Dublin on May 17 last, three days after she was reported missing.
The 14-year-old boys were arraigned before the Central Criminal Court today, accused of murdering the schoolgirl at Glenwood House, Laraghcon, Clonee Road, Lucan on May 14 last year. The accused, who cannot be named because they are minors, each pleaded not guilty.
One of the boys was further charged with sexually assaulting the 14-year-old in a manner that involved serious violence to her. He also pleaded not guilty to that count.
Mr Justice Paul McDermott then swore in a jury to hear the trial.
He had told the members of the jury panel to ensure that they didn’t have any connection with the case so that they could give an independent assessment of the evidence.
He said that the case had been the subject of media attention during the course of its investigation and that they might have heard things in relation to it.
“If there’s any element that you feel would prevent you giving an independent assessment and judgment arising out of any knowledge you have of these alleged events, you should bring that to my attention,” he said. “So, anyone who feels they had a firm or settled view of whether the accused were guilty or not guilty should not serve.”
He warned that the details of the events and the nature of the evidence to be adduced could cause upset.
“They involve young people, and perhaps that makes it more upsetting,” he said. “They’re very serious offences.”
He said it was necessary to name the accused in court but explained that this was effectively a trial of two children.
“They’re entitled to the protection of their identity as a matter of law,” he said, explaining that it was an offence for anybody to disclose their identities.
He also read out a list of what he said was a substantial number of witnesses, who might give evidence. They included several gardaí from various stations in Dublin and Kildare, along with officers from the Garda Technical Bureau and a number of forensic scientists.
A jury of eight men and four women was then sworn in to hear the trial, which is expected to begin tomorrow and last about six weeks.