Published: 18 May, 2012
THE trial of the man accused of murdering a member of the Finsbury Park mosque was abandoned this week after a prosecutor lost his voice due to illness.
The jury was discharged and a new trial is being arranged.
Imam Sheikh Zarzour was a popular figure at his base in Seven Sisters Road and his violent death shocked the community.
Aissa Menasria, now 25, was arrested close to the scene of the victim’s death.
Following concerns about his state of mind, three leading mental health doctors agreed that Manasria was fit to stand trial.
Judge Worsley told the court there was “no dispute” that the accused throttled the Imam at a time when his mental functioning was abnormal.
The jurors’ task was to decide whether at the time of the act he was insane – so not guilty of murder.
Psychiatrists were due to be called to testify on Wednesday but the case collapsed before it had really started.
Judge Worsley explained that Jonathan Turner QC, who had been about to explain the prosecution’s allegations, had been taken ill and lost his voice.