Gardaí probe | 

Anti-vax campaigner Antonio Mureddu may face charges after death of Covid-19 patient

Antonio Mureddu last week told a judge ‘I am the king and you are the public servant'

Antonio Mureddu outside the courthouse. Picture by North West Newspix

Ali Bracken

Gardaí are recommending criminal charges be brought against anti-vax extremist Antonio Mureddu in connection with Covid patient Joe McCarron’s departure from hospital in Donegal while gravely ill.

The 67-year-old Covid-sceptic patient returned to hospital two days later, but subsequently died.

The Sunday Independent understands an investigation into the matter is “near completion” and gardaí in Donegal will send a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions,  recommending Mr Mureddu be charged in connection with the incident, according to a senior security source.

“All the circumstances” surrounding Mr McCarron’s decision to reject medical advice and leave Letterkenny University Hospital are being probed.

In a video that later went viral, Italian anti-vaccination extremist Mr Mureddu is seen encouraging the Covid-sceptic patient to leave, despite a doctor telling Mr McCarron he could die.

Anti vaccination campaigner Antonio Mureddu

“Among what’s being examined is whether this patient was forced or coerced to leave hospital,” said a well-placed source. Charges of trespass and whether hospital staff were threatened are also being considered.

Medical staff and Mr McCarron’s family members have been interviewed, it is understood.

The video of the incident on September 14, the Italian can be seen telling Mr McCarron: “Put your trousers on, we are going now, you are safe, you follow me.”

A staff member tells the patient he has the right to decide what he wants to do but adds:  “You are barely able to breathe there now. We want you to stay and help you.”

“No Joe, they’re going to f***ing kill you Joe,”  Mr Mureddu says before telling the staff member: “Because you are killing people.”

Anti vaccination campaigner Antonio Mureddu at Letterkenny District Court

The medic then tells Mr McCarron: “I’m very worried about you and I want you to stay. I think he is saying something very dangerous. What he is saying is very wrong and very dangerous, and I think he is endangering your life.

“It is a very difficult disease that you have and I’m not lying to you, you could die. This will be your best chance in the hospital and getting the support we are giving to you.”

Mr Mureddu then intervenes and accuses hospital staff of “lying” and says: “We go.”

“Think about this,” the staff member then tells the Italian. “You are endangering his life.”

Two days later Mr McCarron was readmitted to hospital. He was placed on a ventilator but his condition deteriorated fatally.

His family have criticised what happened and urged people to follow medical advice in relation to Covid-19.

An offence of endangerment states: “A person shall be guilty of an offence who intentionally or recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of death or serious harm to another.”

It carries a sentence of one to seven years in prison.

Mr Mureddu (44) appeared at Letterkenny District Court, Co Donegal last  Monday, on road traffic charges of having no insurance, using a fraudulent licence plate, and failing to give information to gardaí at Meencarragh, Ballybofey, Co Donegal on October 23.

Judge Raymond Finnegan asked if he had a solicitor and he replied he had no legal representative.

He told Judge Finnegan: "I don't give jurisdiction to this court. I can represent myself."

He then attempted to hand paperwork to Judge Finnegan but the judge said he was not accepting it.

Mr Mureddu, who did not wear a facemask at any stage of the sitting, claimed he had items stolen by gardaí at Letterkenny garda station.

Judge Finnegan again told the accused he strongly recommended getting legal representation.

Mr Mureddu replied: “Absolutely not. I don’t give any consent. I am the king and you are the public servant.”

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