THE trial date of a man arrested in Majorca and extradited to Ireland has been set for November at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin.
Colin Whelan, aged 33, is charged with the murder of his wfie Mary, aged 27, at their home on March 1, 2001.
He arrived at Dublin airport last Friday night after his extradition from Spain.
He was arrested in Majorca earlier this month after an Irish tourist recognised him when he was serving drinks in a popular bar in Portals Nous.
He had allegedly entered Majorca on a false passport, under the name of Martin Bernard Sweeney, and had lived and worked here for some time before he was spotted.
The accused appeared at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin this week, where Detective Sergeant Patrick Marry, of Balbriggan guard station, gave evidence of having arrested Whelan at Dublin Airport on Friday, under a bench warrant issued by Mr Justice Paul Carney at the Central Criminal Court.
Marry told the court that he asked the accused if he wished to check the copy of the warrant against the original and went on to give him the legal caution.
The accused was subsequently brought before the District Court and remanded in custody until Monday's sitting of the Central Criminal Court. The chief state solicitor told the court that in these circumstances he was seeking a remand in custody.
Mr Justice Carney remanded the accused in custody until November 8 for trial. The trial is expected to last two weeks.
The body of Mary Whelan was found at the bottom of a flight of stairs at their home in the Balbriggan neighbourhood, and initially it looked as though she had broken her neck in an accident. However, the autopsy indicated that she had been strangled and Whelan was arrested and charged with murder, although he proclaimed his innocence right from the start.
He was released on bail, but then allegedly staged a suicide by driving his car over the cliffs in Howth, not far from the Irish capital.
Clothes and personal items were found at the scene, but no trace of Whelan's body was ever found. The police, however, never gave up the search in the high profile case and their patience was finally rewarded when a sharp-eyed Irish tourist spotted him and contacted the Calvia police, who in turn contacted Interpol.
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