Witness heard deceased's friend 'laughing' following fatal stabbing

Eoin Reynolds

Reporter:

Eoin Reynolds

Witness heard deceased's friend 'laughing' following fatal stabbing

A friend of a boy accused of murdering a teen during a melee in a Dublin park has this Wednesday told the Central Criminal Court he heard one of the deceased's friends laughing following the fatal stabbing.

The witness, who cannot be identified because he is a minor, told James Dwyer SC for the prosecution that after the fight broke out he saw Azzam Raguragui being stabbed twice in the leg. He described Mr Raguragui's friends as Arabs, and said that following the stabbing: "One of the Arabs was laughing on the phone saying Azzam got stabbed."

The 17-year-old accused has pleaded guilty to manslaughter but not guilty to the murder of 18-year-old Azzam Raguragui at Finsbury Park, Dundrum, Dublin 14 on May 10, 2019. Mr Raguragui was stabbed five times including a fatal wound to the chest.

The witness told Mr Dwyer that his friends met up with Azzam's group at Finsbury Park. Azzam was speaking with the accused and for about 15 to 20 minutes there was no problem.

But then another member of the witnesses' group arrived and while he spoke with Azzam he was punched from behind by a member of Azzam's group. The punch put the boy on the ground, the witness said, and then the two groups started fighting.

The witness said he saw Azzam run past him towards the accused. He later saw Azzam on the ground kicking at the accused while the accused had a knife in his hand. Azzam, the witness said, "got stabbed twice in the leg".

After telling the court about hearing someone laughing about the incident, he said he heard Azzam say to the accused: "Remember my face."

He couldn't remember if the accused responded. The witness said he left the park and met up with the accused and another friend later that evening. They went to a friend's house.

Another friend of the accused told Mr Dwyer that during the fight he saw Azzam running holding his chest. He agreed with Mr Dwyer that in his statement to gardaí two days after the incident he had said that he saw Azzam on the ground holding his chest but did not say he saw him running holding his chest.

He further explained to defence counsel Michael Bowman SC that he didn't mention seeing Azzam running holding his chest because when giving the statement he "just wanted to go home".

The trial continues in front of Mr Justice Paul McDermott and a jury of six men and six women.