Belfast Telegraph

Home News World

Tests results due in days will prove crucial to next steps in Nora Quoirin probe: lawyer

By Laura Lynott

Nora Quoirin’s family is still seeking “the truth” of what happened to their daughter and believe that tests to be returned in the coming days will prove vital.

Nora’s family still question whether the 15-year-old schoolgirl, who had holoprosencephaly, a rare brain condition, had the capacity to wander off into the Malaysian jungle.

The Quoirins yesterday said they needed “more answers to our many questions” over the death of their daughter.

Malaysian police this week said that the teenager, whose body was found on Tuesday, died of starvation and stress.

But her parents Meabh (45) and Sebastien Quoirin (47) are relying on the DNA and toxicology tests to reveal more about the tragic end to their daughter’s life.

Calls are also being made for a review of how the search operation was conducted with British police, Gardai  and French police, prompted to get involved.

The Quoirin’s solicitor Charles Morel, who is in Paris, told the Irish Independent: “There’s no possible definitive conclusion with the first (post-mortem) result.

“We’re waiting for toxicological analysis and pathological tests.

“The family wants to know the truth and it’s not possible to exclude the criminal (involvement) yet.

“The police have not excluded the criminal and now we’re waiting for those final tests and also for an additional investigation.

“We expect the results of the test within days.”

Mr Morel said he would not be commenting on the investigation to date but the family are expected to make a statement in the coming days.

“There’s an inquiry in France,” he said.

Expert: Jim Gamble
Expert: Jim Gamble

“And I understand there could be an inquiry in Ireland and maybe also in Great Britain,” Mr Morel added.

“I’m waiting on information from the other side of the channel, to see if there’s going to be an inquiry (in Ireland and the UK.) But there is a real coordination between investigators.”

Further questions have also been raised by former RUC man Jim Gamble, who led the initial British investigation into the Madeleine McCann disappearance.

He queried how the investigation was carried out, and whether Nora’s parents have been listened to enough by the authorities.

Their “minds remain open that Nora could have been taken or led away,” he said.

Representatives from An Garda Siochana, the National Crime Agency in the UK, Interpol and the Metropolitan Police, from London, all joined the search for Nora.

The teenager was understood to have gone to sleep upstairs in a bedroom of the Dusun resort in Malaysia on August 3.

Her father discovered she’d vanished at around 8am the morning after the family had arrived in the resort.

Her body was found on Tuesday this week, 10 days after she went missing, even though volunteers had already searched the area where she was located.

The initial post-mortem found the child had likely been dead for two to three days before she was found and she’d suffered intestinal bleeding, possibly due to lack of food and stress.

Mr Gamble, who was the UK’s leading child protection officer, told the Irish Independent: “When the incident began I’ve no doubt the police adopted the position of the most likely hypothesis being a child was suffering from jet lag, woke up early, went to the toilet and walked out of the villa and got lost in unfamiliar terrain.

“That hypothesis makes absolute sense but you want the police on minute one, hour one, day one, to not only follow that hypothesis — as it’s about engaging an immediate search for the child — you want them to think about criminal scenarios from minute one and to secure the scene and any evidence.”

Mr Gamble, who is CEO of Ineqe safeguarding group, added: “The family, from day one, believe Nora wasn’t capable of exiting the villa, let alone of travelling any distance.

“The Malaysian police and others, need to listen to the family, as they cared for a very special child with particular needs, who they loved and nurtured for many years.

“The parents need to be at the forefront of the investigation, as they knew their daughter so well, they were so close to her, more than if Nora hadn’t had special needs.

“So if the parents’ view is listened to, which it needs to be listened to, it’s actually hard to believe Nora could have gone off by herself and travelled any distance.

“The family’s mind is clearly open to the potential that someone could have taken or led Nora away.”

Mr Gamble said if a child died in Ireland or the UK in such a way, there would be an immediate review carried out.

“Not to apportion blame but to establish could anything have been done better,” he said.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph