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CCTV bid to identify rowing couple

Further CCTV footage has been requested at the trial of two men accused of murdering Michaela McAreavey in a bid to identify a mystery couple apparently rowing at the hotel where she died.

While lawyers for the defendants claim the man and woman are the Co Tyrone teacher and her husband John, a high-ranking police witness told the court he was 100% sure they were not the McAreaveys.

Assistant commissioner of police Yoosoof Soopun said the couple captured in a grainy security camera image at the reception of the Legends Hotel the day the honeymooner died were German holidaymakers Harald Hoyer and Savarese Graziella.

The footage was filmed just after 3pm on January 10 last year, around 15 minutes after the prosecution claim the daughter of Tyrone Gaelic football boss Mickey Harte died at the hands of two hotel employees.

Former room attendant Avinash Treebhoowoon, 31, and floor supervisor Sandip Moneea, 42, deny her murder.

Judge Mr Justice Prithviraj Fecknah said further examination of the issue was required before the identity of the couple could be confirmed.

After a request by defence barrister Rama Valayden, other CCTV footage taken from the hotel will be played to the court on Monday in an effort to resolve the issue.

The short three-minute clip from the Legends reception was played along with other security camera footage in front of a packed Supreme Court in Port Louis on the 19th day of the high-profile case.

Speculation had been rife around the island as to what the footage contained and around 200 people crammed into courtroom five to see for themselves. The defendants were permitted to leave the dock and sit in front of the big projector screen that had been erected at the front left of the courtroom.

The honeymooner's widower John, joined by father Brendan, sister Claire and brother-in-law Mark Harte, watched from the front row of an overflowing public gallery. At one juncture when another clip, apparently showing Mr and Mrs McAreavey at the hotel spa the day before she died, he left the courtroom visibly emotional.

Press Association


From Belfast Telegraph