The trial of a man, alleged to have intimidated a woman into getting married to a stranger, collapsed on its opening day yesterday.
31-year old Yasir Ali of Lighthouse Apartments, East Wall, Dublin, had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to coercion in apartments in Ballinrobe and Hollymount in Co. Mayo, on a date between January 1, 2015 and July 7, 2015.
Judge Patricia Ryan discharged the jury on the afternoon of the trial's opening day, after the barrister for the State received instructions to end the prosecution.
At the beginning of the trial, counsel Maurice Coffey told the jury that the prosecution's case was not that Mr Ali was the “brains of the operation”, but that he played an important part in intimidating the complainant.
The court heard from Gabriele Bielyjyte, who said she came to Ireland from Lithuania in 2015 after a man promised her she could work in his takeaway.
She said the man took away her birth certificate and national identification card, and she lived in an apartment he took her to, with other girls from Lithuania.
She said that Mr Ali would visit the apartment in the evenings and bring her food.
She was told by Mr Ali and the other man that she was not allowed to leave the apartment because they did not want the neighbours to see her.
The victim said that, after a few weeks living in Ireland, the man who brought her to this country said there was a person she had never met who wanted to get married and that he would pay her to marry this stranger. She said she was “confused and shocked” and that she “cried a lot”.
Yesterday afternoon, Judge Ryan discharged the jury in the case, after Mr Coffey told the judge that he had received instructions from the DPP's office to enter a nolle prosequi which meant the case would not be going ahead.