Progress in Limerick murder case questioned by lawyer

The late Geila Ibram.

A LAWYER acting for a man accused of murdering a woman in an apartment in Limerick City has questioned the level of progress being made in the prosecution’s case.

It has also emerged that a cross-border investigation team, who are leading the probe into the killing of Geila Ibram (27) in April of this year, is set to meet in The Hague, the Netherlands, as agencies from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland group together as part of a joint international effort to prosecute the accused, 32-year-old Habib Shamel.

Belfast Magistrates Court heard that Mr Shamel, an Afghani national, is accused of stabbing Ms Ibram to death during an alleged “sexual exchange” at a flat on the Dock Road in Limerick City on April 4 last.

Mr Shamel, with an address at Cecil Street, Limerick City, remains in custody in Maghaberry Prison in Lisburn after his arrest in the Malone area of south Belfast a few days after Ms Ibram’s death.

The Romanian mother of four died from multiple stab wounds inflicted to the neck, face, and abdomen in what police described as a vicious and frenzied attack.

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Mr Shamel is charged with murder under the Criminal Jurisdiction Act 1975, which allows the PSNI to prosecute in Northern Ireland if a suspect has travelled from another jurisdiction.

CCTV footage allegedly shows a man, which police claim to be Shamel, arriving at Ms Ibram’s flat and leaving again less than two minutes later on the day of her killing.

Detectives claim he injured his hand during the suspected encounter and attended hospital in Limerick before traveling north by bus.

Mr Shamel appeared remotely at Belfast Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, where a prosecution lawyer disclosed new details about ongoing contact with the Department of Justice in Dublin, the BBC reported.

“A joint investigation team has been formed to try to speed it up, which comprises a number of different agencies from both jurisdictions,” a prosecution lawyer told the court.

District Judge Steven Keown was also told the process is due to be taken to The Hague, where the International Criminal Court is seated.

Despite acknowledging the complexities of the case, a defence barrister acting for Mr Shamel questioned the level of progress being made.

Mr Shamel has not applied for bail and was remanded in continuing custody.

Adjourning the case until October, the judge said he wanted “a specific update about the meeting in The Hague”.