Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Harte tragedy: Two accused re-enact last minutes of Michaela's life

Suspect Avinash Treebhoowoon (29) is brought to Mapou Court, Port Louis Mauritius, Wednesday, Jan.12, 2011. The room attendant has been charged with the murder of Michaela McAreavey.
Suspect Avinash Treebhoowoon (29) is brought to Mapou Court, Port Louis Mauritius, Wednesday, Jan.12, 2011. The room attendant has been charged with the murder of Michaela McAreavey.
Raj Theekoy (33), faces a conspiracy charge in connection with the murder of Michaela McAreavey.
Raj Theekoy
Suspect Sandip Moneea (41) covers his face as he is escorted to Mapou Court, Port Louis Mauritius, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011. The floor supervisor has been charged with the murder of Michaela McAreavey.
A distraught Mickey Harte with son Michael.
Michaela Harte (left) in St.Malachy's Primary School where she attended as a pupil and later completed her teaching placement.
Michaela Harte in with Throphy in St.Malachy's Primary School where Michaela attended and later done her teaching placement
Michaela Harte Far Right front in St.Malachy's Primary School where she attended and later done her teaching placement..
Micheala Harte in fancy dress in St.Malachy's Primary School where she attended as a pupil and later completed her teaching placement..
A distraught Mickey Harte with sons Matthew (left) and Michael at their family home near Ballygawley
Michaela McAreavey on her wedding day
John McAreavey and wife Michaela Harte are seen on their wedding day
Michaela Harte after she had received a B.Ed at Queens University Belfast. (Picture taken in June 2006)
Balloons with the couple's names giving directions to St Malachy's Church outside Ballygwley where they recently got married
A distraught Mickey Harte at his family home near Ballygawley
Wedding flowers from the couple's recent marriage at St Malachy's Church outside Ballygawley
Alan Lewis - PhotopressBelfast.co.uk 11/1/2011Mandatory Credit - Picture by Justin KernoghanA distraught Mickey Harte with sons Matthew (left) and Michael at their family home near Ballygawley today.Michaela, the daughter of Tyrone gaelic football manager Mickey Harte was strangled, Mauritius police have said.Michaela McAreavey, 27, was found dead at the Legends hotel in Mauritius where she was staying while on honeymoon.The 27-year-old Irish woman had married John McAreavey, a member of Down's gaelic football team, on 30 December. He is not a suspect.Police in Mauritius intend to question six people about the killing later on Tuesday.
A wedding sign and balloons telling wedding guests directions to the church near the family home in Ballygawley
Mickey Harte (centre), is comforted at the family home outside Ballygawley in Co Tyrone
(From the left) Mickey Harte, John McAreavey, Michaela Harte, Bishop John McAreavey and Brendan McAreavey are seen on the wedding day of Michaela Harte and John McAreavey
Donegal Celtic and Cliftonville observe a minutes silence in respect of Michaela Harte at the game in west Belfast
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte and his daughter Michaella
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte and his daughter Michaela after the All Ireland Football Final 28/9/2003
Michaela Harte, daughter of Tyrone GAA manager Mickey Harte. Pic by Ian Magill. 23/3/10.Real Woman feature by Stephanie Bell.
Michaela Harte
Irish News handout of (left to right) Mickey Harte, John McAreavey, Michaela Harte, Bishop John McAreavey and Brendan McAreavey on the wedding day of Michaela Harte and John McAreavey at St. Malacheys Church Ballymacilrory on December 30, 2010. Michaela, the daughter of Tyrone GAA manager Mickey Harte was murdered in her hotel room, police in Mauritius confirmed today.
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte with his son David and daughter Michaela after his side's win at Croke Park
Tyrone GAA boss Mickey Harte graduates at Queens University pictured with his daughter Machela who also graduatedand became a Bachelor in Education
Michaela Harte appearing on the television programme the Late Late Show.
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte celebrates with his daughter Michaela and his son Matthew
John McAreavey and wife Michaela Harte are seen on their wedding day at St. Malacheys Church Ballymacilrory on December 30, 2010.
Mickey Harte, pictured in 2006 with his daughter Michaela

Two of the men charged in connection with the murder of Michaela Harte McAreavey yesterday showed police what had happened on Monday afternoon when an attempted robbery escalated into the alleged murder.

Yesterday afternoon, Abinash Treebhoowoon -- who has been charged with Michaela's murder -- gave a formal statement to investigating officers.

He told how he had helped plan the robbery after seeing a purse with cash lying in the room.

His barrister, Ravi Rutnah, said that he had "confessed that he was part of an incident, which turned out to be fatal".

"He didn't anticipate the development in which a woman would lose her life," he said.

He said he had apologised to the family in his formal statement.

Police confirmed that Raj Theekoy -- who has been charged with conspiracy to murder -- became a suspect after police interviewed all hotel employees. He was arrested because police were suspicious of his behaviour and story and yesterday Mr Theekoy gave police the first formal statement of what had happened.

The room attendant told police he saw a cart outside room 1025. The door of the room was closed, which is against hotel policy as the door must be left open when an employee is inside.

He heard Michaela scream and a short time later two men emerged from the room. One was sweating, and when he asked what happened, they told him not to say anything about what he had seen.

When his admission was put to Mr Treebhoowoon he confessed that he had been in the room and had played a part in killing Michaela.

The third man, Sandip Moneea, has been charged with murder, and is still being interrogated by police.

It emerged that the robbery was planned after Mr Treeboowoon had seen a purse with cash lying in the room.

He told the floor supervisor, Mr Moneea, and the duo entered the room with the intention of robbing the money.

However two minutes after they entered the ground-floor apartment at Legends Resort, Michaela returned to get biscuits to have with a cup of tea after lunch.

Mr Treebhoowoon reportedly pushed her and she screamed as she tried to get up.

Mr Moneea moved to silence her and placed one hand over her mouth and his other arm around her neck.

The duo then panicked and placed her body in the bath and turned the tap on. This was where her husband, John McAreavey, found her body a short time later.

On Wednesday, Mr McAreavey had done a reconstruction of events at the request of police.

Yesterday, the second reconstruction took place with the two men who had confessed to their crimes.

They were brought to the hotel, where the room where Michaela was killed remains cordoned off.

Scores of tourists wandered past the two-storey thatched building as up to 30 local journalists recorded the proceedings.

Both men were in handcuffs as they were separately brought to the room and told to retrace their steps.

Mr Treebhoowoon was dressed in an orange T-shirt and navy tracksuit bottoms while Mr Moneea wore a white T-shirt, combat trousers, and orange flip flops.

The reconstruction -- which took place out of sight -- lasted less than an hour.

"Treeboowoon told him not to say anything about it," said Police Commissioner, Dhun Ishwar Ramparsad about why Mr Theekoy had not spoken out before.

"Now the investigators are trying to match what he is saying with the timing of the events."

The reconstruction took place a short time after a Mass was held at the hotel.

Aisha Mosaheb, who handles corporate communications for the Legends Group, said the staff had initiated the Mass, which was attended by up to 100 workers and guests.

It was also attended by a local priest, as well as by an Irish priest who lives on the island.

Neither Mr McAreavey nor other family members attended.

Ms Mosaheb said the hotel had "beefed up security" and kept all residents updated on the investigation.

If convicted of murder, the accused will be jailed for life.

It would be 30 to 40 years before parole was granted and this would be dependent on behaviour while in prison.

A barrister said that they could choose whether to have their trial determined by a jury, or just a judge.

Nightlife Galleries

More

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz