An illegal immigrant
has told Carn Court he came to Donegal after being
accused of killing an African chief's son.
In an emotional appeal to the court on Wednesday,
the Ghanaian outlined how he and the chieftain's son
were playing together on a mountain, how they both
slipped and how the leader's son fell to his death
while he managed to hang on.
"They say I pushed him, but I didn't push him," he
sobbed, outlining how he then fled the country with
The defendant was arrested in Letterkenny under
immigration law and presented a passport identifying
himself as a 32-year old, born in 1975.
However, in his evidence to Judge Desmond Zaidan,
yesterday, he said he was 14-years old with an
entirely different name. As a minor, he cannot be
named for legal reasons.
Judge Zaidan, who assigned Buncrana solicitor Ciaran
MacLochlainn to the case, was told the defendant was
apprehended after applying for a PSV licence to
drive a taxi in Letterkenny.
Judge Zaidan remarked incredulously: "A 14-year old
looking for a taxi licence?" He asked the defendant
had he applied for asylum in this country and was
told he had not.
Judge Zaidan said if, indeed, the defendant was a
minor, he should be under the care of the Health
Services Executive (HSE).
He said he would "err on the side of caution" and
treat the defendant as a minor. He remanded him in
custody to St. Patrick's Institution, to appear at
Letterkenny District Court on Tuesday, May 1st,
2007, to allow immigration control officers make
further checks about his identity and age.