Irish Muslim 'threatened to shoot US lawyer'
on 20/02/2013 00:00:00
Mr Damache, aged 45, is charged with threatening to kill Mr Moughni, a Michigan attorney, on or about Jan 9, 2010.
He is further charged with making a menacing phone call from Waterford City to the lawyer.
Mr Damache, with an address at 1 John Colwyn House, High St, Waterford, pleaded not guilty to both charges yesterday.
Michael Delaney, prosecuting, told the jury that Mr Moughni was a married father of four living in the US city of Dearborn and was of the "Muslim faith".
In his opening address, Mr Delaney said that, on Dec 25, 2009, there was an attempted bombing at Detroit Airport.
He said the suspected attacker was considered to be a "Muslim extremist" and was set to be charged on Jan 8, 2010.
He told Judge Donagh McDonagh Mr Moughni organised a rally outside the courthouse on that day "to denounce acts of terror in the name of Islam".
He said Mr Moughni put up a website to promote the rally and included his office telephone number.
Early on Jan 9, Mr Moughni received a telephone call on his mobile phone at home. His office calls were diverted to it. Mr Delaney said the caller did not identity himself, but spoke with "an Algerian accent".
He said he appeared to adopt a "sarcastic tone". He asked Mr Moughni was he happy with what he had done and called him a hypocrite.
Mr Delaney claimed the caller said: "If you are in front of me, I would shoot you, I would put a bullet in your head. Even in America, we will get you. You will pay."
He said Mr Moughni's wife was present. The call was put on speaker and she managed to record much of the conversation on her mobile.
Mr Delaney said Mr Moughni feared for his and his family's safety and reported it to police.
He said the prosecution's case was that Mr Damache was the man who made that call from Waterford City on his own mobile phone.
He said both Mr and Ms Moughni would be giving evidence by videolink from the US in the trial.
Mr Damache sat attentively during the hearing. He had a large amount of folders and documentation with him and was assisted by an interpreter.