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Inquest ruling changed to open verdict in Nóra Quoirin’s death


by Jennifer McShane
16th Jun 2021

The Lucie Blackman Trust/Family

A Malaysian judge has overturned an inquest verdict of misadventure in the death of 15-year-old Nóra Quoirin, changing it to an open ruling.

 

A Malaysian court has overturned the findings of an inquest into the death of the Irish teenager Nora Quoirin, stating that the coroner was wrong to conclude she died as a result of misadventure. The initial verdict returned in January had indicated Nóra’s death was accidental.

High court judge Azizul Azmi Adnan instead issued an open verdict, which does not rule out the possibility of criminal involvement. It is hoped the ruling may pave the way for further investigations into her disappearance.

He said it was “not probable” Nóra would have left her chalet alone at night, nor that she could “have navigated by herself the challenging terrain in and around the location where she was eventually found,” adding she was a “shy and retiring child who was uncurious and unadventurous, and who was strongly attached emotionally to her parents”.

It was, he said, “unlikely” she would go out on her own.

“I am of the view the verdict of misadventure ought to be vacated in the interests of justice and substituted as an open verdict,” he said.

Nóra went missing on Sunday, August 4th, 2020 after arriving at The Dusun resort near the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

Her disappearance sparked a massive 10-day search in the jungle. It sadly came to a tragic end on Tuesday, August 13th, 2020 when her body was discovered in a ravine beside a stream 2km from the resort.

Malaysian police had revealed that, according to an autopsy, the teenager died of internal bleeding in her intestine, which was likely caused by “hunger or extreme stress” but her parents have said all evidence doesn’t point to it being so simple, due to Nóra being born with Holoprosencephaly – a rare congenital disorder which left her struggling to walk and balance normally.

“Nora was always going to be worth fighting for”

Nora’s parents, Meabh and Sebastian Quoirin have repeatedly said they remain convinced that she was abducted and said they were relieved and emotional following the outcome.

“It’s a very big day for us, we’re very emotional,” Meabh told the BBC.

“We finally feel that someone has listened to us and recognised who Nora truly was”

“But we’re very pleased with the outcome. Nora was always going to be worth fighting for and this is the verdict we wanted. It was really the only reasonable verdict open to us in the sense that the proof that we had could only really lead to this road as a credible one as far as we were concerned.”

She added the family would be taking “some time to think about that and to consider what else we might do. But we already feel this is a huge step forward in our quest for justice.”

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