Northern Ireland

Eamonn Magee Jr murder: Suspect Orhan Koca attacked in jail

Orhan Koca Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption Orhan Koca, who is originally from Turkey, was attacked in jail the day after he was remanded in custody charged with Eamonn Magee Jr's murder

The man charged with murdering Belfast boxer Eamonn Magee Jr has been treated in hospital after he was attacked in Maghaberry Prison.

Orhan Koca, who is originally from Turkey, sustained a broken cheek-bone in the prison attack on Wednesday and needed stitches above his right eye.

He has been in jail since Tuesday, when he was remanded in custody after denying the murder of Mr Magee Jr.

The Prison Service said the jail attack is being investigated by the police.

Safety

Mr Koca's defence solicitor, Eamon O'Connor, told BBC Radio Ulster's Evening Extra programme that his client was attacked after leaving his cell for a family visit.

"He was going from the cell to the visiting area. Two other prisoners were speaking with him. He turned around and then he was hit in his face," Mr O'Connor said.

The lawyer said that as well as the fracture and stitches, Mr Koca suffered "possible nerve damage" with a loss of feeling around his mouth.

Mr O'Connor said he spoke to his client on Friday morning and he was "not able to communicate very well" because of his injuries.

He said that Mr Koca attended his family visit immediately after the attack "to make sure that someone saw the injuries that he sustained".

He was then brought to hospital for a number of hours, before being returned to Maghaberry Prison.

The lawyer said Mr Koca has requested that the prison authorities move him to an area where he could be held in "complete segregation" for his own safety.

CCTV

The segregation request has been submitted in writing, and Mr O'Connor has also asked the Northern Ireland Prison Service for information on the "risk assessments" it carried out in relation to his client.

The lawyer said it was his understanding that the assault was captured on CCTV and was reported to police.

He said there was concern over how it could have taken place, as prison authorities have a "duty of care" to all inmates.

He added that the Koca family have contacted the Turkish Consulate in Scotland about the attack.

In a statement to Evening Extra, a spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Prison Service said they "can confirm that an incident involving a 32-year-old remand prisoner in Maghaberry took place on Wednesday, 3 June".

"PSNI have been informed and an investigation is ongoing. The police have also confirmed to us that they are investigating the incident," the statement added.