Murder accused punches prosecuting barrister in face

A man accused of murdering his former partner and mother of their two children has punched a prosecuting barrister in the face at the Central Criminal Court.

Vesel Jahiri (35), originally from Kosovo but of no fixed abode, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Anna Finnegan (25) at Allendale Glen, Clonsilla, Dublin 15 on September 21st, 2012.

He has also pleaded not guilty to assaulting Karl Finnegan, causing him harm, at the same place on the same date.

Mr Jahiri previously dismissed his legal team and is now representing himself at the trial.

On Friday morning, Mr Justice Paul Coffey told the jury that Mr Jahiri was not in a position to call any further witnesses in his trial.

The judge then said that Mr Jahiri would not be making a closing speech although he was given an opportunity to do so and for that reason prosecuting counsel, Patrick Marrinan SC, would also not be making a closing speech.

At that point Mr Jahiri shouted: “The judge is refusing to call witnesses. This trial is not going ahead. You broke the law. This trial is going nowhere I’m stopping it now.”

The judge then told Mr Jahiri that he had given him an opportunity to call witnesses this morning. Mr Jahiri said he needed a phone to call potential witnesses saying: “I’m in Guantanamo jail.”

The accused was told by the judge that he has had the last seven weeks to telephone witnesses. Mr Jahiri started to shout: “My teeth are sick and everything.”

At this point Mr Marrinan stood up and was about to speak when Mr Jahiri reached across to him and punched him in the face. Blood could be seen coming from counsel’s nose.

Mr Jahiri then leapt across the benches before being wrestled to the ground by five prison officers who handcuffed him and took him from the courtroom.

The trial was adjourned for 20 minutes before resuming in front of the jury.

Mr Justice Coffey addressed the jury saying: “The accused has been removed from court and we will proceed in his absence.”