trial update | 

Charges against double murder accused Yousef Palani may be struck out next month, court hears

Aidan Moffitt and Michael Snee both died in April

Yousef Palani

Eavan MurrayIndependent.ie

Charges against a man accused of the murders of Aidan Moffitt and Michael Snee, and the assault causing harm to a third man, may be struck out next month if the DPP has not given directions.

Yousef Palani (22) of 10 Markievicz Heights, Sligo, appeared before Sligo District Court via video link from Castlerea prison this afternoon.

Mr Palani has been in custody since he was charged following a special sitting of the Sligo District Court on April 14.

Dressed in a green polo shirt, Mr Palani was escorted into the room by two prison officers.

He confirmed to the court clerk he could hear proceedings and said he did not need to speak with his solicitor Mr Gerry McGovern.

Mr McGovern told Judge Brendan O’Reilly he had spoken with his client the previous day.

Palani greeted Judge O’Reilly and the court registrar.

Sergeant Derek Butler requested the accused be further remanded in custody until September 15, when he hoped there would be directions from the DPP.

Mr McGovern queried the length of time it has taken to receive directions from the DPP and said his client has been in custody since April 14.

Sgt Butler said the reason for the inordinate delay is due to the “very complex” nature of the case and the volume of material in the file.

“The file is so big it had to be sent to Garda headquarters to be printed,” said Sgt Butler.

Mr McGovern said it was important that the case moves forward as, to date, Mr Palani has been unable to consult with a Senior Counsel.

“We need this matter to move forward,” Mr McGovern said.

Sgt Butler said the volume of work done by gardaí in preparing the file for the DPP was such that a number had cancelled their leave this summer in order to advance the case.

“A case like this is unprecedented,” said Sgt Butler, who added the file was “huge”, but it was now with the DPP and gardaí were awaiting directions.

Sgt Butler said he was confident on information he learned “today” that DPP directions would be available by September 15, but the book of evidence would take longer to prepare.

Judge O'Reilly asked if there was any application for bail, and Mr McGovern said Mr Palani had not made a decision on whether or not to apply for bail.

Mr McGovern said the matter was the focus of ongoing discussions with his client.

“He understands he would have to go to the High Court.

“He has not decided yet,” Mr McGovern said.

Judge O'Reilly remanded Palani in custody to Castlerea prison and ordered him to appear again via video link at Sligo District Court on September 15, 2022.

Judge O’Reilly marked the case peremptory against the State, meaning the charges could be struck out if directions are not available on that date.

It is the sixth time Yousef Palani has appeared in court charged with the murders of two men and assault causing harm to another over three days from April 9 to April 12 in different locations in Sligo town.

The 22-year-old stands charged with the murder of auctioneer and political activist Aidan Moffitt (41) at his home in Cartron Heights in Sligo town on April 10, 2022.

He was also charged with the murder of retired care assistant Michael Snee (58) at City View Apartments in Sligo on April 12, 2022.

He is also charged with assault causing serious harm to a third man Mr Anthony Burke at Cleveragh Road in Sligo on April 9, 2022.


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