Belfast Telegraph

Michaela accused: police made me lie

By Eimear ni Bhraonain

A hotel worker who was due to appear in court in Mauritius today over the murder of honeymooner Michaela McAreavey claims police held a gun to his head while forcing him to sign false statements.

Dassen Narayanan (26) is charged with conspiracy to commit larceny at the four-star Legends Hotel on January 10.

In an interview Narayanan revealed how a plain-clothes detective put a gun to his head and stood over him while he wept and signed a statement.

He previously gave a statement to police implicating a fourth hotel worker — Seenarain Mungoo — who was since found to be innocent and has returned to work in Legends. Narayanan said plain-clothes policemen bundled him into a van and drove him to Port Louis where he was beaten and forced to make a confession.

“They were shouting and very angry. They were asking how the key-card got out of the security room and did I hear anything. They threatened to lock me up if I did not co-operate.”

The 26-year-old also said that while two officers from the Major Crime Investigation Team were driving him to a police station while he was in custody, the driver asked him to implicate Mr Mungoo. “Say he was the one who took the key-card and gave it to Sandip (the prime suspect). The other officers said ‘if you co-operate with the police, you will be released and allowed to go home.

“I said I never saw Mungoo give the card to Sandip, why do you say that?” He also said while he was in custody on January 20 a police officer beat him. “I was very afraid and so I agreed to say I saw Mungoo with the key.”

Despite his statement, Narayanan said he remained locked up as officers wanted him to change his story — to say he gave the key to Sandip. “Officers beat me again, one removed his gun from his socks.”

Narayanan said the detective pointed the gun to his right temple and asked him “did you ever receive a blow like this?”

He wept as he signed his name to the statement. After spending almost two months in custody, Narayanan had the conspiracy to murder charge struck out against him. He was released on bail.

Aveenash Treebhoowon and Sandip Moneea are accused of murdering Michaela McAreavey.

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