A man charged in connection with a murder near Coalisland was “terrified” of men who took over a garage where the victim’s body was found, the High Court heard today.
Dmitrijus Indrisiunas was also made to bring food and alcohol to the lock-up premises he had rented, a judge was told.
The 42-year-old, of The Shanoch in Coalisland, is charged with withholding information and assisting an offender over the killing of fellow Lithuanian Gediminas Stauskas.
The body of Mr Stauskas, 32, was found in the garage near the town last October and a 35-year-old man has been charged with his murder.
As Indrisiunas was granted a bail variation to go on holiday to the Irish Republic, defence counsel said any allegation of a link to an international crime racket was denied.
“There’s no evidence that he has any kind of connection to the mafia or an organised crime ring,” the barrister insisted. He described what allegedly took place at the premises as “a terrible incident”.
Indrisiunas claims the man charged with murder arrived at the garage he was renting with another man, the court heard.
“He knows there were two very serious characters, not to be messed with,” his lawyer claimed.
“They said ‘We are staying in the garage, keep your mouth shut’.”
It was alleged that Indrisiunas and another man were forced to go on food and alcohol runs to a shop in the area.
“There was a large level of violence going on in the garage,” defence counsel added.
“He (Indrisiunas) has a young family and instructs that he was terrified of the men taking over his garage.”
The accused, who has been out on bail since December, was seeking permission to go on holiday to Co Donegal next month.
Granting the application, Mr Justice Stephens rejected claims that he could re-offend or flee.
He ordered Indrisiunas to report to the Garda while out of Northern Ireland.