Inquest to be held into death of Nóra Quoirin next month
Teenager disappeared while on holiday in Malaysia and was found dead nine days later
Nora Quoirin. File photograph: Lucie Blackman Trust/Family handout/PA Wire
An inquest is to be carried out into the death of Franco-Irish teenager Nóra Quoirin, Malaysian authorities have said.
The inquest will begin at the end of August, according to Malaysian newspaper, the Star, and will take two weeks.
Nóra’s disappearance from her family’s cottage at the Dusun eco-resort in southern Negeri Sembilan state on August 4th last sparked a massive search operation. Her body was discovered on August 13th beside a small stream about 2km from the resort.
Coroner Maimoonah Aid, during case management at the Coroner’s Court in Malaysia on Friday, fixed September 13th to visit the scene where Nóra’s remains were found.
The court will hear testimony from 64 of the 102 witnesses shortlisted by inquest coordinating officer Muhamad Iskandar Ahmad.
“The proceedings will also be conducted via video-conferencing such as Zoom to allow the deceased’s family in the United Kingdom to follow it,” Mr Maimoonah said.
“But it will be difficult to conduct it entirely in English as most of the witnesses might speak in Bahasa Malaysia.”
After Nóra’s death, police said there was no sign that the 15-year-old was abducted or attacked. And a preliminary postmortem showed that she succumbed to intestinal bleeding due to starvation and stress.
Sankara Nair, a lawyer for the girl’s parents, Meabh and Sebastien Quoirin, said the family strongly believed Nóra was abducted as she has mental and physical disabilities and could not have wandered off on her own.
At an earlier hearing, Mr Sankara asked the court if the proceedings could be conducted in English as Nóra family would not be able to attend.
He also told the court that he planned to call a forensic expert who had performed the second autopsy on Nóra’s remains in the UK, to assist in the inquest.
Speaking on Friday night Nóra’s father, Sebastien, said he was pleased to hear that the inquest would be held. The family had been pushing for one for months, he said.
“We now have to stay focused and be grateful that Malaysia reconsidered their initial decision. We thank the French, Irish, and British governments for supporting us along the way.”
Separately, Nóra’s family is suing the owner of the Malaysian resort she disappeared from for alleged negligence.