Two of the three suspects charged over the murder of newlywed Michaela McAreavey in Mauritius have confessed, police said today.
Prime suspect Avinash Treebhoowonn has admitted to murder and provided detectives with details of all that happened during the killing, a senior detective told the Belfast Telegraph.
The development came as Michaela’s body began its journey home this morning.
Her coffin was taken from Victoria Hospital morgue to the airport, where it will be flown to London. It is expected back in Co Tyrone some time tomorrow.
Meanwhile police were continuing their probe into the killing .
Speaking today, Inspector Ranjid Jokhoo confirmed Treebhoowonn had provided detectives with a confession, along with evidence to help them build their case against his alleged accomplice, Sandip Moneea.
It also emerged that Raj Theekoy, who is charged with conspiracy to murder, told police he was at the couple’s room and that he had seen and heard the victim scream — but did nothing.
Inspector Jokhoo said Moneea, who is charged with murder, will be questioned today.
“We now have all the details — Avinash has told us what happened,” he said. “We will be questioning Moneea at a later stage.
“Theekoy, who is charged with conspiracy, told us he had seen and heard the victim screaming, but he didn't do anything.”
He added that a reconstruction is due to take place at Legends Hotel around noon GMT.
Mrs McAreavey, the daughter of Tyrone GAA boss Mickey Harte, was found strangled in her hotel room on Monday.
Yesterday police warned that Mrs McAreavey’s killer may not yet have been caught. Police chief Dhun Iswur Rampersad said officers were “keeping an open mind” and that “there may have been some other guy who did the job”.
Michaela’s husband, who discovered her body in the bathroom of their hotel room on Monday afternoon, said he has been left heartbroken by her death.
“Words have no meaning. My beautiful wife, my best friend, my rock Michaela has been taken from me and I still can't take it in,” Mr McAreavey said.
Suspects Treebhoowoon and Moneea appeared in Mapou District Court in the north of the island yesterday charged with murder. A third room attendant, Theekoy (33), also appeared in court on a charge of conspiracy.
It is understood that all three employees had passed background checks in order to be “certified” to work at Legends Hotel.
At the hearing, held in the Creole language, alleged killer Treebhoowoon claimed he was laid naked on a table and beaten on his feet with a hosepipe by police in a bid to get him to admit his guilt.
He added: “A towel was wrapped over my face and I was punched all over my body.”
Magistrate Bono Mally remanded the men in police custody for a week. All three face up to 60 years in jail if found guilty.
Police on the island have said they would like Mr McAreavey to remain until early next week to assist with inquiries.
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