A hotel worker who alleges he was beaten into confessing to the murder of honeymooner Michaela McAreavey has been challenged to explain why two doctors apparently found no sign of any injuries on him.
Avinash Treebhoowoon was accused of making up the claims of police brutality, even taking inspiration for his story from the movies, as he was cross-examined by the prosecution in Mauritius's Supreme Court.
The defendant and co-accused Sandip Moneea both deny murdering the 27-year-old daughter of Tyrone gaelic football boss Mickey Harte at the island's luxury Legends Hotel last January. Both men worked at the beachside resort and the prosecution claims they attacked the Irish language teacher when she caught them stealing in her room.
Treebhoowoon, 32, returned to the witness box to give evidence for a third straight day at the case in Port Louis; his second facing cross-examination from principal state counsel Mehdi Manrakhan.
Mrs McAreavey's widower John, his father Brendan, sister Claire and brother-in-law Mark Harte watched as he testified in his native French Creole. The family members were helped by a local Mauritian who translated proceedings.
The defendant claims police forced him to sign a confession statement three days after the January 10 murder and that he had no knowledge of what it contained. The prosecutor disputed this, insisting the document included facts the police could not have otherwise known and was littered with particular phrases favoured by Treebhoowoon.
The lawyer said the violent struggle with Mrs McAreavey outlined in the statement was consistent with the pattern of injuries sustained by the newly-wed - yet he claimed police were not in possession of the post-mortem report at that juncture.
Before analysing the statement in detail, Mr Manrakhan focused on the defendant's claims of police torture. Treebhoowoon has told the court he was subjected to various types of violence in the days after the murder.
He alleged he was beaten around the head, punched in the stomach, grabbed in the crotch, whipped on the soles of his feet and dunked in a bucket of water until he vomited blood. Mr Manrakhan asked how could he explain that there were "no external injuries" found.
"When I was examined I didn't take off my shirt, the doctor didn't talk to me," replied the defendant. Mr Manrakhan offered an alternative explanation: "That means you never got beaten, there are no injuries, you agree with that? You would have got some marks on your body?" The accused responded firmly: "I got beaten."