A black sack and two clear bags with all of the evidence of Michaela McAreavey’s murder were left unsealed inside the humid courthouse.
The heartbroken families of the two men accused of murder had gathered in rural Mapou in northern Mauritius, hours before the pre-trial started.
Shortly before the hearing the suspects arrived from separate prisons on the Indian Ocean island.
There was just enough time for 21-year-old Reshma Treebhoowon to put her hand up to the window of the police car as she looked into her husband, Aveenash’s eyes. She had waited by her parents’ side since early yesterday morning for him to arrive.
Aveenash, who spent his 30th birthday in prison, will be locked up for up to 60 years if he is found guilty of Michaela’s murder. Blue-uniformed policemen stood around the walls of the courtroom as Treebhoowon and Sandip Moneea (41) were seated in the custody box.
The pair are accused of murdering 27-year-old Michaela while she was on honeymoon in the luxury Legends hotel with her husband, John McAreavey. Michaela was strangled to death after apparently interrupting a robbery in her hotel room.
Members of the McAreavey and the Harte families were not present in court yesterday.
There were emotional scenes outside court as the prime suspect’s wife, Rekha Moneea (39), repeated that her husband is innocent.