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Michaela Harte McAreavey honeymoon murder trial to begin on Monday

The family of murdered Michaela McAreavey are not travelling to Mauritius for the first stage in the trial of the men accused of killing her.

As part of the judicial process in Mauritius a pre-trial begins on Monday to determine what witnesses can be called for the full trial.

The full trial is now expected to be held later this summer.

The 27-year-old beauty queen from Co Tyrone was found dead in the luxury Legends Hotel on January 10, just 12 days after she married Down GAA footballer John McAreavey.

Mr McAreavey found Michaela's dead body in the bath inside their honeymoon suite.

The heartbroken husband, who returned to the Down panel last month, may have to travel to Mauritius to give evidence at the murder trial later this summer.

The decision on whether to call him to give evidence will be made by the Mauritian Director of Public Prosecutions — but Mr McA

reavey is not travelling to the Indian Ocean Island for the preliminary trial next week.

A source close to the Harte family said they are all “anxiously waiting” for the outcome of the first stage of the trial to be completed.

“They just want to see the judicial process take its course,” the source said.

Detective Inspector Ranjit Jokhoo, who is heading up the investigation, said state law will determine if Mr McAreavey will have to return to the island to give evidence.

“If there is the need to call Mr McAreavey, he will be called,” Mr Jokhoo said.

Mr Jokhoo's team have quizzed members of staff at the Legends Hotel and made a number of arrests as part of the probe into Michaela's murder.

Story so far

Michaela Harte was murdered in Mauritius on January 10. She had been having lunch with her husband John when she briefly returned to their hotel room to fetch some biscuits. She apparently stumbled across intruders who were rifling through her belongings. Mr McAreavey later found his wife's body in the suite’s bath.

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