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Mohammed Morei charged with Dundalk murder

Mohammed Morei was brought before a special sitting of Dundalk District Court Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption Mohammed Morei was brought before a special sitting of Dundalk District Court

A teenager has appeared in court in the Republic of Ireland, charged with murdering a Japanese man in Dundalk, County Louth on Wednesday.

Mohammed Morei, who is 18, was brought before a special sitting of Dundalk District Court on Thursday evening.

He is accused of murdering 24-year-old Yosuke Sasaki, who was stabbed to death as he made his way to work in the town.

A garda (Irish police) inspector told the court that Mr Morei's nationality is undetermined at present.

International investigation

In the aftermath of a series of attacks in Dundalk on Wednesday morning - in which Mr Sasaki was fatally stabbed and two other Irishmen were attacked and injured - gardaí said the murder suspect was from Egypt.

Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption Yosuke Sasaki, who was from Japan, was one of three men attacked in Dundalk on Wednesday

However, during the brief court appearance, it emerged there has been some difficulty in determining where Mr Morei is from.

He came to the attention of gardaí in Dundalk on New Year's Day - two days before the stabbing - in relation to his immigration status.

In a statement on Thursday, a garda spokesman said: "At this time, we can find no established link to indicate that this tragedy is terrorist-related.

"However, inquires are continuing internationally as the investigation develops."

He also confirmed that the threat level from international terrorism remains unchanged after the series of attacks.

It is currently assessed as moderate - meaning the Irish authorities believe an attack is "possible but not likely".

'Profound sadness'

Mr Sasaki, originally from Ebina - a city west of Tokyo - had been walking to his job at a Dundalk call centre when he was stabbed at Avenue Road in the town.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Floral tributes and a can of Japanese coffee have been left close to the murder scene

He worked for National Pen and the firm's chief executive paid tribute to him as a valued employee.

"This is a time of profound sadness for management and staff," Peter Kelly said.

"We will do everything possible to assist the family at this tragic time".

The judge remanded Mr Morei in custody to appear again before Cloverhill District Court on 11 January.

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