Asia

Malaysian coroner visits Franco-Irish teen's death site

SEREMBAN, MALAYSIA (AFP) – A coroner in Malaysia inspected a resort and nearby jungle Thursday (Aug 13) ahead of an inquest into the death of a Franco-Irish teenager during a family holiday there last year.

Nora Quoirin, 15, disappeared from the Dusun Resort and her unclothed body was found later after a massive hunt through dense rainforest not far from where she had been on holiday with her London-based family.

Her parents say they believe there was a “criminal element” to her death as the teen had learning difficulties and would not have wandered off alone, but Malaysian police insisted there was no sign of foul play.

The girl disappeared on Aug 4 last year, a day after arriving at the resort, triggering a 10-day hunt involving hundreds of people, helicopters and sniffer dogs.

An autopsy found Nora probably starved and died of internal bleeding after about a week in the jungle, and the authorities classified the case as “requiring no further action”.

But her family pushed for an inquest, and a coroner has set dates from Aug 24 to Sept 4 for one to take place.

On Thursday, the coroner, prosecutors and the family’s lawyer, under police escort, inspected the resort and the area where her body was found in the town of Seremban, Negeri Sembilan state, 63km south of Kuala Lumpur.

“The coroner took the opportunity to visit the place where the victim stayed and where the body of Nora was found,” Negeri Sembilan deputy police chief Che Zakaria Othman told reporters after the three-hour tour.

Mr Che Zakaria said the visit was to give the coroner “preliminary insight” on the location of the tragedy.

The Quoirin family’s new lawyer, Mr S. Sakthyvell, described the site visit as “quite thorough”.

“She (the coroner) visited the Dusun resort, the waterfall, she walked in a stream and went to the location where the body was found,” Mr Sakthyvell told AFP.

He added that the teen’s parents would not be present during the inquest proceedings due to coronavirus-related restrictions, but would be interviewed by the coroner over a conferencing platform.

The proceedings will also be streamed live online, he said.

Sixty-four witnesses are expected to be called, the family’s previous lawyer, Datuk Sankara Nair, said earlier.

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