Solicitor says no deal for Rostas murder trial witness

Man said he would give evidence knowing he too could be charged, court told

The body of Marioara Rostas  was found in a shallow grave on the Wicklow border four years after she disappeared.

The body of Marioara Rostas was found in a shallow grave on the Wicklow border four years after she disappeared.

Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 21:39

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 (35), New Street Gardens has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Ms Rostas (18) at Brabazon Street, The Coombe, on January 7th or January 8th, 2008.

The Romanian teenager disappeared on the afternoon of January 6th, 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.

Former friend

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

Mr O’Hanlon (37), a convicted criminal who has been granted immunity from prosecution, said he helped Mr Wilson to 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 3rd, 2012, and asked if she would advise Mr O’Hanlon, who has waived his privilege to his dealings with her then.

Michael O’Higgins SC, defending, read from her memo that gardaí told her 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 that it would be a matter for the DPP after considering any statement made.

She said she met Mr O’Hanlon and explained to him that immunity would be considered only after making a formal statement, not before. She also confirmed with the offices of the DPP that this was normal procedure.

Cross-examined by Seán Gillane SC, prosecuting, she said it was made very explicit to her there could be no deals and Mr O’Hanlon should know that. She conveyed this to her client.

Advice on statement

“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”.

A detective sergeant, who is not being named due to his work in the witness protection programme, gave evidence yesterday of Mr O’Hanlon’s involvement in the programme.

He said Mr O’Hanlon asked to meet him in June last year to clarify what would happen to him after the trial.

He agreed with Mr O’Higgins that he had taken “key word” notes of such meetings with Mr O’Hanlon and that they were destroyed after being transcribed.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of 10 men and two women.