Belfast Telegraph

Accused 'was phoning his sister'

A hotel worker who claims he was phoning his sister when honeymooner Michaela McAreavey was killed actually called her to ask advice after committing the murder, a prosecutor has alleged.

Sandip Moneea has insisted he was chatting to his older sibling for almost five minutes about everyday things at about the time police believe the Co Tyrone teacher was strangled in her luxury hotel in Mauritius.

After the defendant testified in his own defence at the Supreme Court in Port Louis, his sister followed him into the witness box to corroborate his story.

But Malah Gajudhur was forced to deny claims by state prosecutor Mehdi Manrakhan that she had only come to court to save her brother.

Mr Manrakhan claimed the defendant actually made the call in the room where Mrs McAreavey was later found dead, just moments after he and co-accused Avinash Treebhoowoon had murdered her.

"You called on your sister after you killed that lady," he earlier confronted Moneea.

"You did it in the room. You were asking her advice."

At the claim both the defendant and members of his legal team laughed.

Mr Manrakhan responded sternly: "You are laughing, you seem completely relaxed, you don't seem like you have got a murder case on you," he said.

Ex floor supervisor Moneea, 43, from Petit Raffray and former room attendant Treebhoowoon, 32, from Plaine des Roches, deny murdering the daughter of Tyrone gaelic football boss Mickey Harte.

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