Suspect in Dundalk attacks appears in court charged with murder

Mohamed Morei (18) accused of murdering Japanese man Yosuke Sasaki (24)

Mohamed Morei (18), being brought into Dundalk District Court this evening where he was charged with the murder of a Japanese national. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Mohamed Morei (18), being brought into Dundalk District Court this evening where he was charged with the murder of a Japanese national. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

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A young man suspected of a string of attacks in Dundalk has appeared in court charged with murder.

Mohamed Morei (18) appeared at Dundalk District Court at 6.50pm on Thursday, roughly 33 hours after he was arrested near the scene of a fatal stabbing.

Mr Morei is accused of murdering Yosuke Sasaki, a 24-year-old Japanese man, in Dundalk shortly before 9am on Wednesday, January 3rd.

Insp Martin Beggy told the court gardaí are currently unsure of Mr Morei’s nationality. He said they have concerns about his psychological wellbeing.

The accused appeared in court wearing a black jumper. He remained in the body of the court surrounded by gardaí during the short hearing. He consulted with his solicitor with the aid of an interpreter.

Agitated state

Mr Morei was released from his handcuffs before the hearing began.

He was in an agitated state during the hearing and shouted repeatedly in Arabic and English, “I am no gay”, “I am no Muslim” and “I am no Pakistani” in the courtroom.

Mohamed Morei (18), being brought into Dundalk District Court this evening where he was charged with the murder of a Japanese national. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin
Mohamed Morei (18), being brought into Dundalk District Court this evening where he was charged with the murder of a Japanese national. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Garda Damien Welby told Judge Gerry Jones the accused was arrested on a charge of murder at 4.31pm outside Dundalk Garda station.

Asked by the judge where Mr Morei is from, Insp Beggy replied that investigators are having trouble establishing his nationality.

Asked whether the accused requires medical attention, the Inspector said there are matters gardaí are concerned about. “He has presented certain matters to us and we would have concerns.”

Defence solicitor Barry Callan asked that his client receive “appropriate medical treatment while in custody”.

The judge directed that all appropriate psychological and medical treatment be provided to the accused.

Judge Jones asked whether gardaí know the reasons behind the alleged attack.

Insp Beggy said there is “nothing in common with the deceased and the accused”.

Legal aid granted

The judge granted a defence request for legal aid and for an Arabic interpreter for future court dates.

Mohamed Morei (18), being brought into Dundalk District Court this evening where he was charged with the murder of a Japanese national. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times
Mohamed Morei (18), being brought into Dundalk District Court this evening where he was charged with the murder of a Japanese national. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Judge Jones remanded Mr Morei in custody until next Thursday at 10am in Cloverhill District Court. There was no application for bail.

A large crowd had gathered outside court when Mr Morei arrived under an armed Garda escort. A brief melee broke out as he was taken from a Garda van into the court building, with some onlookers shouting racial slurs.

Gardaí armed with sub-machine guns stood guard at the door, preventing members of the public from following the accused into court.

Following the hearing, Mr Morei was placed back in handcuffs and held in the courtroom for about 10 minutes before being taken out a side entrance. He was put in a different Garda van and transported to Cloverhill Prison.

The crowd outside continued to shout at the empty Garda van as it drove away in a different direction.

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