A jury at the Circuit Criminal Court has been sent home for the night after earlier beginning deliberations on a verdict in the trial of a Dublin woman charged with attempting to assist the suicide of another woman by making arrangements for her to travel to Zurich.
Gail O'Rorke, 43, was last week acquitted on direction of the trial judge on two other charges of assisting the suicide of her friend Bernadette Forde.
Ms O'Rorke, from Kilclare Gardens in Tallaght, had denied the charges. It is the first prosecution of its kind under legislation introduced in 1993.
Ms Forde, who was 51 and had suffered with multiple sclerosis for ten years, ended her life at her home in Dublin in June 2011.
She had been forced to cancel a trip to the Dignitas Clinic in Zurich after the intervention of gardaí who were alerted by a travel agent.
After legal argument at the close of the prosecution's case, Judge Pat McCartan told the jury he had come to the conclusion that Ms O'Rorke had no case to answer on the two charges of assisting a suicide as there was insufficient evidence.
He directed the jury to find her not guilty on both charges.
He allowed the charge of attempting to assist a suicide by making travel arrangements to continue for consideration by the jury.
Ms Forde ended her life by taking a lethal dose of medication bought on the internet.
Following the death, Ms O'Rorke was charged with aiding and abetting the suicide by assisting in the procurement and administration of a toxic substance.
She was not present when Ms Forde took the lethal dose of medication but the prosecution said she had helped to procure it by making a money transfer to Mexico.
She was further charged with procuring a suicide by making funeral arrangements two days before Ms Forde's death.
In his charge to the jury this morning, Judge McCartan said Ms Forde had wanted someone to be with her in the end to hold her hand and that Ms O'Rorke was "an honest decent woman faced with a huge dilemma".
However, he said this trial was not about emotion and if the jurors were driven by emotion they could not do their job.
He said the trial was about an offence that is an offence at law and the task was to determine if the facts fit the offence as set by law.
He also said the consequences of their verdict was not a matter for the jury, it was a matter for him and they could not be concerned with that.
Judge McCartan said this was the first prosecution under the Criminal Law Suicide Act of 1993 but told the jury that did not affect the law.
"There is a first time for everything," he said.
He said the jury would have to establish if the facts were established and that Ms O'Rorke had criminal intent. He said ignorance of the law was not a defence.
He said there had been evidence that Ms O'Rorke or Ms Forde did not realise that what they were doing was potentially illegal.
Judge McCartan said you could see why that was because the law says it is not an offence to take your own life in Ireland and that assisted suicide is not illegal in Switzerland.
He said the fact that it was suicide, that it never occurred or that it was to happen in Switzerland has no bearing on the charge the jury had to consider.