Ashling Murphy murder accused remanded in custody awaiting DPP directions

ireland
Ashling Murphy Murder Accused Remanded In Custody Awaiting Dpp Directions Ashling Murphy Murder Accused Remanded In Custody Awaiting Dpp Directions
A man charged with the murder of Ashling Murphy has been further remanded in custody pending formal directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions. Photo: PA Images
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Tom Tuite

A man charged with the murder of teacher Ashling Murphy has been further remanded in custody pending formal directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Jozef Puska (31) with an address of Lynally Grove, Mucklagh, Co Offaly, was initially remanded in custody on January 19th.

He is accused of killing the 23-year-old who was attacked while out running along the Grand Canal near Tullamore on January 12th.

The Slovakian national faced his fourth hearing at Cloverhill District Court on Wednesday. Mr Puska appeared before Judge Cephas Power via video link.

Dressed in a grey tracksuit, he listened with the help of an interpreter and spoke only to give his name and to say he could see and hear the proceedings.

Court Garda sergeant Olwyn Murphy told Judge Power that "directions are still outstanding".

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She explained gardaí sent the investigation file to the State solicitor and the DPP on February 18th. A four-week remand was sought.

Refuse jurisdiction

Defence solicitor Eoin Lysaght submitted that the case "is only going one way". He asked the judge to refuse jurisdiction at this stage and adjourn the case for a book of evidence to be completed.

The court sergeant pointed out there was no time limit, asking the judge to adjourn the case for formal directions from the DPP first, followed by a book of evidence.

Judge Power noted the nature of the charge and indicated he would put the case back for four weeks.

However, Mr Lysaght said his client would only consent to a two-week remand. He also asked for the directions to be expedited, adding that the DPP has been involved “from day one”.

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The sergeant said the DPP gave "ordinary directions" on day one, and now formal directions were required.

The judge noted the volume and complexity of the case and remanded Mr Puska in continuing custody to appear again on March 9th. Detective Sergeant David Scahill gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution at Mr Puska’s first hearing on January 19th.

Detective Sergeant Scahill had said that when asked if he had anything to say in response to the charge, the accused replied: "No."

The High Court can only consider a bail application in a murder case.

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