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Yousef Palani

Man accused of murdering two men in Sligo changes senior counsel ahead of November trial

Yousef Palani is charged with the murder of Aidan Moffitt and Michael Snee.

A 22-YEAR-OLD MAN who is charged with murdering two men and attempting to murder another one in Sligo has changed his senior counsel ahead of his trial in November.

In a brief hearing before the Central Criminal Court today, defence counsel Brendan Grehan SC told Mr Justice Paul McDermott that he had appeared for Yousef Palani and had met with him since the matter was last before the court in April.

Grehan said: “Mr Palani would have a preference for a different senior counsel and in those circumstances I’m asking for leave of the court to not represent him anymore and for Michael Bowman SC to represent him.”

Yousef Palani of Markievicz Heights in Sligo is charged with the murder of Aidan Moffitt at Carton Heights in Sligo on 10 April 2022.

Palani is also charged with murdering Michael Snee at City View, Connaughton Road, in the town two days later on 12 April.

He is further charged with attempting to murder another man at Cleveragh Road in Sligo on 9 April 2022.

Palani, who appeared via video-link from Castlerea Prison in Roscommon this morning, is expected to go on trial at the Central Criminal Court on 13 November this year. The case is likely to take three weeks.

Grehan told the judge that there are various records being sought for Palani from the Central Mental Hospital and Castlerea Prison and that the defence was still awaiting those. He also said that there were some other “relative minor matters” outstanding.

Justice McDermott asked Grehan if reports had been sought from experts. The lawyer said he had informed the court on 26 April that the defence had procured their own psychiatric assessment and that it was not their intention to share that with the prosecution.

Palani’s trial is set for 13 November and there will be “a case review” before the court on 19 July.

Justice McDermott agreed to permit Palani to dispense with his senior counsel Grehan and seek the services of a new senior counsel, Michael Bowman.

“Mr Grehan is released, Michael Bowman is in and Mr Gerry McGovern [of McGovern Walsh & Co Solicitors] remains,” said the judge.

Alison O'Riordan