Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Harte tragedy: Wife of suspect says he is incapable of murder

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.
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.
Mickey Harte, pictured in 2006 with his daughter Michaela

The wife of one of the suspects in Michaela Harte McAreavey's murder claimed last night her husband was innocent.

Sandip Moneea (41) had been married just 37 days when he allegedly killed the 27-year-old honeymooner.

He and his wife, Rekha Moneea, had also built a new home and had moved in together after their wedding.

Ms Harte and her new husband, John McAreavey, were due to move into their first home together when they returned home to the North from Mauritius.

Speaking from their large bungalow just 5km from the hotel, Mrs Moneea said that her husband is innocent.

"I do not believe that Sandip did what everyone is saying," she said last night.

She said that someone has committed a "foul" crime, but that it was not committed by her husband.

The other two men charged in connection with the case have admitted to their part in the murder. However Mr Moneea -- who has been charged with her murder -- has not made any admission.

"He was with me on Monday (after work), he came home and it was like a normal day," Mrs Moneea said.

"He was not at all worried or upset."

She said they cooked their dinner together and watered their plants, and there was no hint that just hours earlier he had taken part in a murder.

On Tuesday morning he left for work as normal and at 7.40pm she was contacted via telephone and told that her husband had been arrested.

"My husband would never ever murder anyone," she declared.

She said she has been "broken-hearted" since being told of the charges and that she "trusts in almighty God to fix this".

"I don't trust the people in this land," she added.

Mr Moneea worked as a floor supervisor in the luxury resort and had a key which could access the couple's room.

Police said yesterday they had not finished interrogating Mr Moneea.

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