Connemara murder accused remanded in custody

A 23-year-old Czech national charged with the assault and murder of a woman in Connemara last year has been further remanded in custody.

Jakub Fidler with an address at Cartur Leathan, Inverin, Co Galway, appeared again before Galway District Court last Monday charged with the alleged murder, contrary to common law, of Nicola Vonkova (19 ) at Cartur Leathan between the hours of 10pm on July 20, 2008, and 5.39am on July 21, 2008. The defendant had also been charged with assaulting Ms Vonkova causing her harm, contrary to Section 3 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act.

The body of Ms Vonkova had been discovered in a drain behind a cottage near the Poitín Stil pub in Inverin. She had been living in the area for a year while taking care of an elderly and visually impaired Czech-US national.

Fidler had been arrested and held for questioning at Galway Garda Station shortly after the discovery of Ms Vonkova’s body. By the afternoon of Tuesday, July 22, he was charged with the assault of Ms Vonkova and brought before a special sitting of Galway District Court. A request for legal aid and for the services of a Czech translator for all of Fidler’s court dates was granted.

However, when the defendant appeared in court this week to proceed with the case it was revealed that the interpreter was not present.

“This is the most serious charge a District Court can have and the interpreter has not appeared,” said Judge Mary Fahy, who then insisted that the situation be brought to the notice of the courts service and demanded to know what excuse, if any, had been given. She then put the matter back to later in the afternoon and asked Det Sgt Thomas Molloy to make enquires.

“I want it to be checked so that it doesn’t happen again. It’s murder. I need to know for a lot of reasons,” she added.

By the time the case resumed an interpreter had been secured and the defendant was remanded in custody to appear at Harristown District Court on January 16 for service of the book of evidence.

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