Nóra Quoirin: Malaysian officials say case needs ‘no further action’
Parents demand answers as no inquest to be held in case of teen found in jungle after 10 days
Malaysian authorities classified Nóra’s death as ‘no further action’. Photograph: Lucie Blackman Trust/Family handout/PA Wire
The parents of Franco-Irish teenager Nóra Quoirin are demanding answers and high-level intervention after Malaysian authorities decided to classify her case as requiring “no further action”.
The 15-year-old disappeared from a holiday resort in Malaysia and was found dead in the jungle ten days later.
They said the Attorney-General’s Chambers’s (AGC) decision “prevents justice being done” and continue to call for an inquest into their daughter’s death.
In a statement via the Lucie Blackman Trust, Meabh and Sebastien Quoirin said: “We have today learned that the AGC of Malaysia has classified Nóra’s case as ‘no further action’.
“This essentially means that, at this time, there will be no inquest. We are shocked by this decision, not least because it is based on a preliminary report from the coroner’s office.”
The Quoirins said that, to date, they have only received a short explanation from the pathologists who conducted the postmortem in Malaysia, which confirmed the cause of death as gastro-intestinal bleeding and an ulcer, likely brought on by starvation and/or stress.
“We must emphasise, however, that this is only a brief extract of what will be the full postmortem report, which is as yet still unavailable.
“It is critical that we receive this report. It may reveal other significant details that contributed to Nóra’s death, such as why a severe ulcer was triggered so quickly in her body. It is moreover utterly unacceptable that we have not received a single update from Malaysia since Nóra’s death.”
The Quoirins added: “As we have stressed from the beginning of this case, it is crucial to understand how Nóra came to be found where she was.”
Nóra’s body was found on August 13th about two kilometres from the Dusun resort by a group of hikers who had volunteered their help. It was the 10th day of a massive search for the 15-year-old.
Nóra was a vulnerable child, with significant physical and mental challenges, her parents said. “We strongly refute any conclusion that Nóra was alone for the entire duration of her disappearance.”
The Quoirins have repeatedly asked the police to provide answers to their questions and say they have been repeatedly ignored.
“This stands in stark contrast with the promise of transparency that we received from the deputy prime minister and other prominent officials whom we met in Malaysia,” they said in Friday’s statement
“We believe it is a democratic human right to seek the truth. We have witnessed how our most vulnerable citizens in this world are all too often ignored and we are now facing considerable prejudice in our search for answers.”
The Quoirins said they could not believe or understand why “any modern economy would label such a harrowing and mysterious case NFA without full process”.
They said that the Malaysian authorities’ “total refusal” to communicate with them was both “insulting and unfathomable”.
They said their governments in France and Ireland supported their demands for justice. “We therefore now appeal directly to the highest levels of Malaysian government as well as the attorney-general’s office to assist our quest for the truth.”
Local police announced at a press conference on Wednesday that the no further action decision had been taken, but neither the Quoirins nor their lawyer in Malaysia, Sankara N. Nair, have been officially informed.
Mr Nair says the decision was “unfair” and myriad questions remain to be answered about how Nóra died. Mr Nair says “an abduction and wilful detention cannot be ruled out”.
On December 30th, Mr Nair wrote to the attorney-general’s chambers asking for an inquest to be ordered. He received an acknowledgment but has not yet received any further response“If the family suspects foul play then it is the duty of the attorney-general to call for an inquest,” he said.
Matt Searle, chief executive of the Lucie Blackman Trust, accused Malaysian authorities of “effectively closing down” the case.
The Quoirins have filed a civil suit against the operator of the Dusun holiday resort where the family was staying when Nóra disappeared. They are claiming at least €40,000 in damages and say that the resort was unsafe.
The Quoirins’ statement of claim alleges the latch on the window in the living area of the bungalow in which they were staying was broken and could easily be opened by anyone from outside.