State reject plea

Longford man pleads not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter

Leitrim Observer reporter

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The State has rejected a plea of guilty to manslaughter in the trial of a 25-year-old charged with murdering a man in Longford in 2016.

Rihards Lavickis, of Annaly Court, Longford, today pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of Akadiusz Czajkowski (31) at Rue Noyal Chatillon, Townspark in Longford on November 1, 2016.

Prosecuting counsel Patrick McGrath SC said the plea was not accepted by the Director of Public Prosecutions and a jury of six men and six women was sworn at the Central Criminal Court.

The trial is to be overseen by Justice Una Ni Raifeartaigh who told the jury that she needs to deal with a legal issue before they hear the opening speech from the prosecution tomorrow/today Friday.

She welcomed the jury, telling them they have a difficult task and that Mr Lavickis has pleaded guilty to manslaughter but not guilty to the more serious offence of murder. Justice Ni Raifeartaigh further explained that part of her role is to give direction to the jury on matters of law while their role is in relation to the facts and evidence.

Once the prosecution has completed its opening, witnesses will be called to give evidence. The trial is expected to last three weeks. Once all the evidence has been heard counsels for the prosecution and defence will make their closing speeches before the judge charges the jury and tells them the legal principles that apply, such as proof beyond reasonable doubt and presumption of innocence.

The jury will return tomorrow, Friday.