Belfast Telegraph

Michaela trial: honeymoon murder witness 'changed his story'

By David Young

A hotel worker who alleges he saw the two men accused of murdering Michaela McAreavey leave the crime scene did not inform police about his claims originally, a court in Mauritius has heard.

Raj Theekoy, a one-time suspect in the case, made a signed statement to investigating officers the day after the honeymooner from Co Tyrone was found strangled in a hotel room in the island's luxury Legends Hotel last January.

"I did not kill the lady," he said. "I don't know how she was killed.

"I don't know anything about the lady."

Mr Theekoy provided no further details about the murder at that time.

He is now a witness against fellow Legends employees Avinash Treebhoowoon, 30, and Sandip Moneea, 42, who both deny murdering the daughter of Tyrone gaelic football boss Mickey Harte.

Mr Theekoy was originallly charged with conspiracy to murder but the case was dropped.

The trial of the two defendants in Port Louis has already been told that the hotel cleaner claims he heard female cries from the room where Mrs McAreavey, 27, was killed and shortly after saw Treebhoowoon and Moneea exit the door.

But he provided none of those details when he was interviewed on January 11 last year.

The contents of his statement then was read to court today by one of the police officers present at the interview, constable Hans Rouwin Seevathian.

The honeymooner's father-in-law Brendan McAreavey and sister-in-law Claire McAreavey watched from the public gallery of the criminal court.

Her widower John has returned to the island but is unable to attend court proceedings until he gives evidence as a prosecution witness.

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