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Witness tells murder trial he lied to gardaí initially, claiming he was 'afraid' for his safety

The trial continues before a jury of seven men and five women.

Image: Sasko Lazarov via RollingNews.ie

A WITNESS TOLD a murder trial today that he lied to gardaí when he initially said he saw nothing on the night of the alleged killing, claiming he was “afraid” for himself and his family’s safety.

Seven foot, five inch tall Russian native, Dmitry Hrynkevich, 24, died at Kerry General Hospital on 2 October 2015, two days after he was found with multiple injuries to his head, face, and neck, outside his house in Killeen Woods, Tralee.

The accused, Arnoldas Ivanauskas, 33, a Lithuanian national, with an address at The Parklands, Tralee, denies murdering the deceased.

It is the state’s case Arnoldas and a Polish man, who is not before the courts, acted together in a joint enterprise and murdered Hrynkevich.

Today, Alan Starosz, a witness for the state, agreed under cross examination by the accused’s barrister Mark Nicholas, that he “lied” to gardaí on 28 October 2015, when he told them he saw nothing unusual on the night in question.

Starosz made a second statement seven months later, telling gardaí that he saw two men assault Hrynkevich outside the front of the deceased’s house, on the night in question.

Starosz told the Central Criminal Court, sitting in Limerick city, that he saw two men “fighting Dmitry”.

The witness told prosecution counsel Roisin Lacey, SC, that he saw the two men “pushing” and “throwing punches” at Hrynkevich.

Starosz said he knew one of the men, a Polish man who is not before the court, but he did not know the other man.

The two men were “drunk”, he said.

The witness agreed with Nicholas, defending, that he lied in his original statement when he said he “did not see or hear anything unusual on the night”.

“That was a lie,” Nicholas asked the witness, who replied, “yes”.

Starosz again admitted lying to gardaí when he told them he first heard of the incident on a radio news bulletin.

“That that was a clear unambiguous lie, wasn’t it?”, Nicholas asked, and Starosz replied, “yes”.

The witness agreed he “misled” gardaí in his first original statement, and he told the court: “I’m sorry for making problems in the first (statement), I feel bad about it.”

Nicholas put it to the witness his version of events were “not reliable” and were “different” to testimony given by two other prosecution witnesses.

Starosz said he stood by his second statement to gardaí, and told the court: “I know it looks bad, and like I’m lying.”

Last Friday, Magdalena Mroczek, a neighbour of the deceased, said she saw the Polish man, not the accused, punch Hrynkevich four times.

Mroczek said she primo to this she saw the accused hiding inside another neighbour’s house when a car pulled into the estate, and that he went into the kitchen of this house to wash his hands.

Mroczek said the accused asked her if there was “blood” on his face and neck, but she said she could not see any. 

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Klaudia Jozwik previously told the court she saw the accused hide in her house, and that she noticed what she thought was “blood” on his hands.

Jozwik said she saw “blood” coming from “a wound” on the Polish man’s left.

She said the accused was standing next to her when she heard what sounded like fight coming from Hrynkevich’s house later on. 

Starosz agreed with Lacey that he said what he said in his original statement because he was “afraid” of the Polish man, and that he made a second statement to gardaí when he discovered the Polish man was no longer living in Ireland.

Starosz said he had understood he would only be giving evidence to the court “in private” and “confidentially”.

“I just want to say sorry for the first statement,” he added.

The trial continues before a jury of seven men and five women.

Comments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing.

About the author:

David Raleigh

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