Nora Anne: High Court substitutes coroner ruling to open verdict

Nora Anne: High Court substitutes coroner ruling to open verdict

SEREMBAN: The High Court here today substituted the Coroner’s Court verdict that Nora Anne Quoirin’s death was due to misadventure with an open verdict, ruling that there was no credible evidence to support any other cause of her death.

Judge Azizul Azmi Adnan made the ruling following the Franco-Irish teenager’s family application for a revision of the Coroner’s Court verdict.

He delivered the judgment via online proceedings through the Malaysian Judiciary’s official YouTube page.

The judge said that the role of the inquiry was not to ascertain which of the competing verdicts have the highest possibility of being the correct verdict.

“However, having reviewed the material that was brought before the court, I am of the view that the verdict of misadventure ought to be vacated in the interests of justice, and substituted with an open verdict,” he said.

An open verdict generally means that the cause of death could not be determined. Azizul Azmi said the possibility of third-party involvement was lower than the possibility that Nora Anne had somehow inadvertently gotten herself into a situation from which she could not extricate herself.

The judge further said that it did not mean, however, that he should enter a verdict of misadventure.

“For I must assess whether misadventure was more likely than not the reason why Nora Anne met the demands. Given the evidence that was before the court, I fail to see how it could have been said that it was more probable than die as a result of misadventure,” he said.

On Jan 4, Coroner Maimoonah Aid ruled that no one was involved in the 15-year-old teenager’s death and it was a case of misadventure.

Meanwhile, the family’s lawyer Louis Azmi told reporters after the proceedings that they were pleased with the court’s decision today.

“They feel that they were heard and acknowledged and that the verdict better reflects the circumstances in Nora Anne’s case,” she said.

A total of 48 witnesses, including the teenager’s parents, Meabh Jaseprine Quoirin and Sebastien Quoirin, testified during the inquest that began on Aug 24 last year.

Nora Anne went missing on Aug 4, 2019, a day after she and her family had arrived in Malaysia for a two-week vacation at a resort in Pantai, Seremban, about 60 kilometres south of Kuala Lumpur.

The girl’s body was found ten days later near a ravine, which is about 2.5 kilometres from the resort, following a massive search.

The preliminary post-mortem report stated that the death of the teenager with disabilities had no criminal elements, and she was confirmed to have died from gastrointestinal bleeding due to prolonged hunger and stress.– BERNAMA