Belfast Telegraph

Friday 1 August 2014

McAreavey trial verdict 'next week'

John McAreavey arrives at the Supreme Court in Port Louis, Mauritius, as the trial of Sandip Moneea and Avinash Treebhoowoon continues

A verdict is anticipated next week in the trial of two men accused of murdering honeymooner Michaela McAreavey in Mauritius after the final pieces of evidence were presented to the jury.

The remaining four defence witnesses testified and the last exhibits were produced at the Supreme Court in Port Louis, bringing to a close the case for defendant Sandip Moneea.

With the case for co-accused Avinash Treebhoowoon having been heard last week, the long-running and much delayed trial is nearing an end.

Judge Prithviraj Fecknah told jurors that court would adjourn for a day-and-a-half before the closing statement for the prosecution is heard on Friday.

Defence statements will follow on Monday with the jury set to be sent out later in the week following judicial directions.

"The proceedings are not over," said Mr Justice Fecknah.

"What is over at this stage is the evidence. We still have a few steps to follow."

More than 40 witnesses testified during the last 30 days of evidence. The case was originally listed for nine days. The judge said court transcripts already run to some 2,000 pages.

Both the accused worked at the island's Legends Hotel at the time the daughter of Tyrone Gaelic football boss Mickey Harte was found dead in room 1025 last January.

Ex-floor supervisor Moneea, 43, from Petit Raffray, and former room attendant Treebhoowoon, 32, from Plaine des Roches, deny her murder. The prosecution claims they attacked the newlywed when she interrupted them stealing in her room, having left her husband John at a poolside restaurant.

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