Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Michaela Harte McAreavey: one of accused may be freed

John and Michaela McAreavey at the Giant's Causeway in north Antrim
Michaela McAreavey's husband John kisses her coffin as her remains are carried to St Malachy's Church in Ballygawley for her funeral mass.
John McAreavey and wife Michaela Harte are seen on their wedding day at St. Malacheys Church Ballymacilrory on December 30, 2010.

Polcie in the Michaela Harte McAreavey murder probe are considering dropping the charges against one of the men accused of involvement in her death.

The daughter of Tyrone GAA football manager Mickey Harte was found dead by her husband John (30) just three days into the couple's honeymoon in Mauritius.

Seenarain Mungoo (39) was the fifth and final hotel employee to be charged in connection with the murder on the holiday island — but police now say charges against him could be dropped or altered at a later date.

“He has applied for bail and the magistrate is considering the case,” said Detective Inspector Ranjit Jokhoo after a bail hearing yesterday.

The security guard was arrested on January 19 under suspicion of |conspiracy to commit murder after being identified as a suspect by his |colleague Dassen Narainen (26), who had been held the previous day.

“We believe that although Narainen's claims have been revoked it is still right that he is in custody. In future we will decide whether to charge him with conspiracy to commit murder, another offence or to let him go.”

His lawyer sought unconditional bail yesterday, telling the court he believed police had no case against him.

But the hotel security guard was told the matter would now be postponed until Monday to allow the court further time to consider the evidence.

The hearing was delayed as the court's digital recording was “out of order.”

Both men worked as security guards at the luxury Legends Hotel where Mrs McAreavey was found dead on January 10.

They were initially suspected of helping a pair of hotel cleaners suspected of murdering the newlywed by supplying them with a stolen key card, which was believed to have been used to access her room.

However, in the days after their arrests, detectives said the case against Mungoo had been built on testimony supplied by Narainen and which he had later withdrawn after admitting he held a grudge against Mungoo.

Despite that revelation, officers said Mungoo would be remanded in custody at least until police received the results of DNA tests conducted on Mrs McAreavey's body and bedroom.

Lawyer Mohammad Zahid Nazurally told the court yesterday the case against his client was too flimsy to |justify his imprisonment.

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