Belfast Telegraph

Michaela husband will give evidence at murder hearing

By Eimear ni Bhraonain

A Mauritian court is expected to be told today that Michaela McAreavey's husband will give evidence to the preliminary inquiry into his wife's brutal murder as early as next week.

John McAreavey, who is a witness for the prosecution's case against Sandip Moneea (41) and Avinash Treebhowon (30), was not expected to travel to Mauritius at this early stage.

However, defence lawyers for the two men accused of Michaela's murder have requested his presence for cross-examination.

The state had argued in court earlier this week that Mr McAreavey's presence would only be required once the matter had proceeded to the trial stage.

It indicated that the state could only afford to bring Mr McAreavey to the Indian Ocean island once the trial had got under way.

However, defence lawyers were told that if they footed the bill, they would be free to bring Mr McAreavey back to Mauritius if they wished.

Magistrate Sheila Bonomally is presiding over the preliminary inquiry, after which she will decide if there is enough evidence to send the men forward for trial for murder — or whether they will be dealt with by a lesser court for manslaughter. Alternatively, the matter can be struck off.

The family solicitor, Dick Sui Wa, was unavailable for comment last night, but earlier he had indicated that Mr McAreavey would travel whenever his presence was required.

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that a forensic report placed a sacked security worker at the scene of Michaela's murder — but he is currently not listed as a state witness in the case.

Dassen Narayanen (26), a former hotel employee, was accused of conspiring to commit a theft at the Legends resort on Mauritius on January 10 — the day of Michaela's murder.

The charge is related to the allegation that Mr Narayanen made a dummy room-card.

Details of the forensic scientist's report show:

  • Mr Narayanen's DNA was found on the wardrobe door handle in the bathroom area where Michaela was murdered.
  • No DNA belonging to the two men accused of her murder was found on samples taken from the scene.

Michaela, the only daughter of Tyrone football boss Mickey Harte, was murdered on January 10 while on honeymoon with her husband, John McAreavey.

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