Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

McAreavey papers to be examined

Martin McGuinness said the acquittal of two men over Michaela McAreavey's death was perverse

Northern Ireland's Attorney General is to examine papers from the trial into the murder of honeymooner Michaela McAreavey.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said the perpetrators of the killing ion Mauritius could still be brought to justice after meeting the country's Acting High Commissioner in London.

"I'm told that there is every prospect that there could be a new trial," said the Sinn Fein chief.

Legends hotel workers Sandip Moneea and Avinash Treebhoowoon were cleared of the murder by a jury at the Supreme Court in Port Louis last Thursday.

Ahead of the meeting, Mr McGuinness branded their acquittal perverse and said he disagreed with the unanimous verdict. But following the talks he urged the Mauritian authorities to take a very determined approach to finding and prosecuting those responsible for the young newlywed's murder.

Stormont First Minister Peter Robinson said he was appalled at some of the events surrounding the trial.

Mrs McAreavey, 27, from County Tyrone, was killed in her room at the hotel while on honeymoon in January 2011. After an eight-week trial, jurors had deliberated on her death for about two hours before clearing the two suspects.

The Deputy First Minister met Acting High Commissioner Mohamed Latona for 45 minutes. He said the meeting was to discuss the poor handling of the case and the appalling way the families, the Hartes and McAreaveys, had been treated during the investigation and the trial.

"There's a very strong view on the island of Ireland and shared by the McAreavey and Harte families that they did not get justice," Mr McGuinness told RTE Radio. He added: "I do disagree with the verdict of the jury."

The chief legal adviser to the Northern Ireland Executive, Attorney General John Larkin QC, is expecting to receive material about the trial soon, his office confirmed.

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