Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 13 July 2014

Call for Michaela McAreavey police probe

Mauritius lawyers seek independent inquiry into murder investigation

Michaela McAreavey was murdered while on honeymoon in Mauritius in January 2011
Michaela McAreavey was murdered while on honeymoon in Mauritius in January 2011

Lawyers in Mauritius have called for an independent inquiry into the police investigation of Michaela McAreavey's murder.

A year after Sandip Mooneea and Avinash Treebhoowoon were found not guilty of murdering the honeymooner, defence counsel Rama Valayden demanded a "full-on inquiry on the police handling of the murder investigation by an independent judge". Sanjeev Teeluckdharry, Ravi Rutnah and Mr Valayden – defence counsels for the two men who stood trial on a murder charge – held a public meeting in Riviere Du Rempart, Mauritius, yesterday where they said the major crime team's "incompetence" was one of the major reasons the case was not solved.

The 27-year-old Co Tyrone teacher (left) was found dead in January 2011 in her hotel room on the paradise island. The only daughter of Tyrone football boss Mickey Harte, Ms McAreavey interrupted a robbery in her room and was killed.

It emerged recently that those involved in the bungled murder probe inadvertently deleted hours of CCTV footage.

According to a special investigation by journalist Donal MacIntyre, Mauritian officers deleted up to 90% of the footage handed to them. The programme revealed that officers who were reviewing the footage from the luxury Legends Hotel were at the same time erasing it.

A new investigation has been launched by police in Mauritius with the help of the PSNI.

It is understood the country's Director of Public Prosecutions has been passed a file suggesting Dassen Narayanen, an ex-security guard at the hotel, has a case to answer.

PROFILE

Michaela McAreavey was the only daughter of Tyrone GAA manager Mickey Harte. The 27-year-old was strangled while on honeymoon in Mauritius with husband John in 2011. The couple wed just 12 days before she was attacked in their hotel room, and she was buried in her wedding dress.

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