Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

Michaela McAreavey murder accused DNA 'not found in honeymoon suite'

John and Michaela McAreavey on their honeymoon
John and Michaela McAreavey on their honeymoon
Avinash Treebhoowoon, 30, arrives at the Supreme Court in Port Louis, Mauritius, where he will stand trial accused of strangling Michaela McAreavey
Avinash Treebhoowoon, left, and Sandip Moneea, right, deny murdering Michaela McAreavey
John McAreavey and wife Michaela Harte are seen on their wedding day at St. Malacheys Church Ballymacilrory on December 30, 2010.
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte and his daughter Michaela after the All Ireland Football Final 28/9/2003
John and Michaela McAreavey at the Giant's Causeway in north Antrim
A wedding picture on the front of the Order of Service at Michaela McAreavey's funeral
Four hotel workers have been remanded in custody in Mauritius over the murder of Michaela McAreavey, pictured with her husband John
Michaela McAreavey
The wedding party (from left) Mickey Harte, John McAreavey, Michaela McAreavey, Bishop John McAreavey and Brendan McAreavey
Michaela and John McAreavey outside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France
Michaela McAreavey's coffin is carried from her parents' home in Ballygawley, Co Tyrone
The heartbroken husband of murdered honeymooner Michaela McAreavey says he has been left totally devastated
Tyrone Manager Mickey Harte at his daughter Michaela's wedding to John McAreavey
John and Michaela McAreavey, pictured here on a visit to the Giant's Causeway. The couple were on honeymoon in Mauritius when Michaela was murdered.
The remains of murdered honeymooner Michaela McAreavey return home last night from Mauritius.
The remains of murdered honeymooner Michaela McAreavey return home last night from Mauritius.
Former Tyrone Captain Peter Canavan (3rd left) joins members of the Errigal Ciaran GAA Club line the route as a hearse transporting the body of murdered Mauritius honeymooner Michaela McAreavey approaches in Ballygawley, Co Tyrone.
The body of Michaela McAreavey left George Best Belfast City airport in a hearse on Friday afternoon.
Michaela McAreavey's husband John, (foreground), waits for the hearse to leave Belfast city airport under police escort on the last leg of ehe journey home
Michaela's remains leave Victoria Hospital in Muiritius yesterday en route to the airport. 13th January 2011.
John McAreavey, husband of Michaela Harte leaving the mortuary at Victoria Hospital in Mauritius yesterday wearing her wedding ring and engagement ring around his neck
John McAreavey, husband of Michaela Harte leaving the mortuary at Victoria Hospital in Mauritius yesterday wearing her wedding ring and engagement ring around his neck
A hearse with the body of Michaela McAreavey, leaves George Best Belfast city airport. Friday January 14, 2011.
Michaela McAreavey on her wedding day
John McAreavey and wife Michaela Harte are seen on their wedding day
Michaela Harte Far Right front in St.Malachy's Primary School where she attended and later done her teaching placement..
Raj Theekoy
Suspect Avinash Treebhoowoon (29) is brought to Mapou Court, Port Louis Mauritius, Wednesday, Jan.12, 2011. The room attendant has been charged with the murder of Michaela McAreavey.
Suspect Sandip Moneea (41) covers his face as he is escorted to Mapou Court, Port Louis Mauritius, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011. The floor supervisor has been charged with the murder of Michaela McAreavey.
Raj Theekoy (33), faces a conspiracy charge in connection with the murder of Michaela McAreavey.
A distraught Mickey Harte with son Michael.
Michaela Harte (left) in St.Malachy's Primary School where she attended as a pupil and later completed her teaching placement.
Michaela Harte in with Throphy in St.Malachy's Primary School where Michaela attended and later done her teaching placement
Micheala Harte in fancy dress in St.Malachy's Primary School where she attended as a pupil and later completed her teaching placement..
A distraught Mickey Harte with sons Matthew (left) and Michael at their family home near Ballygawley
Michaela Harte after she had received a B.Ed at Queens University Belfast. (Picture taken in June 2006)
Balloons with the couple's names giving directions to St Malachy's Church outside Ballygwley where they recently got married
A distraught Mickey Harte at his family home near Ballygawley
Wedding flowers from the couple's recent marriage at St Malachy's Church outside Ballygawley
Alan Lewis - PhotopressBelfast.co.uk 11/1/2011Mandatory Credit - Picture by Justin KernoghanA distraught Mickey Harte with sons Matthew (left) and Michael at their family home near Ballygawley today.Michaela, the daughter of Tyrone gaelic football manager Mickey Harte was strangled, Mauritius police have said.Michaela McAreavey, 27, was found dead at the Legends hotel in Mauritius where she was staying while on honeymoon.The 27-year-old Irish woman had married John McAreavey, a member of Down's gaelic football team, on 30 December. He is not a suspect.Police in Mauritius intend to question six people about the killing later on Tuesday.
A wedding sign and balloons telling wedding guests directions to the church near the family home in Ballygawley
Mickey Harte (centre), is comforted at the family home outside Ballygawley in Co Tyrone
(From the left) Mickey Harte, John McAreavey, Michaela Harte, Bishop John McAreavey and Brendan McAreavey are seen on the wedding day of Michaela Harte and John McAreavey
Donegal Celtic and Cliftonville observe a minutes silence in respect of Michaela Harte at the game in west Belfast
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte and his daughter Michaella
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte and his daughter Michaela after the All Ireland Football Final 28/9/2003
Michaela Harte, daughter of Tyrone GAA manager Mickey Harte. Pic by Ian Magill. 23/3/10.Real Woman feature by Stephanie Bell.
Michaela Harte
Irish News handout of (left to right) Mickey Harte, John McAreavey, Michaela Harte, Bishop John McAreavey and Brendan McAreavey on the wedding day of Michaela Harte and John McAreavey at St. Malacheys Church Ballymacilrory on December 30, 2010. Michaela, the daughter of Tyrone GAA manager Mickey Harte was murdered in her hotel room, police in Mauritius confirmed today.
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte with his son David and daughter Michaela after his side's win at Croke Park
Tyrone GAA boss Mickey Harte graduates at Queens University pictured with his daughter Machela who also graduatedand became a Bachelor in Education
Michaela Harte appearing on the television programme the Late Late Show.
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte celebrates with his daughter Michaela and his son Matthew
John McAreavey and wife Michaela Harte are seen on their wedding day at St. Malacheys Church Ballymacilrory on December 30, 2010.
Mickey Harte, pictured in 2006 with his daughter Michaela
Michaela McAreavey pictured with her husband John on their wedding day (Irish News/PA)

There were no DNA traces from the two men accused of murdering Michaela McAreavey found on her body or at the crime scene in Mauritius, a court has heard.

A forensic expert from England told the trial of the two hotel workers that their genetic material was not identified on a range of swabs taken from the tragic honeymooner or on samples recovered from the hotel room in the island's luxury Legends Hotel where she was found strangled last January.

Susan Woodroffe from Cellmark Forensic Services was also asked to examine whether the DNA of defendants Avinash Treebhoowoon and Sandip Moneea and two other original suspects in the case - fellow Legends employees Raj Theekoy and Dassen Naraynen - was present on the samples.

While Ms Woodroffe found no matches from the four men on swabs taken from the victim's body, she did identify a potential match with Naraynen on a key card for the room.

Naraynen is facing a larceny charge in connection with the case in separate court proceedings.

But in relation to samples taken from Mrs McAreavey's neck, feet and fingernails, the forensic expert told the criminal court in Port Louis:

"There is no specific indication that any of Raj Theekoy, Sandip Moneea, Avinash Treebhoowoon or Dassen Naraynen have contributed to the results obtained."

Genetic material other than belonging to Mrs McAreavey and her husband John was found on a sample taken from her head, but the expert said if it was from a sole contributor then all four men could be ruled out.

Hotel workers Treebhoowoon, 30, and Moneea, 42, deny the premeditated murder of the teacher, who was the daughter of Tyrone gaelic football boss Mickey Harte.

Mrs McAreavey was found dead in her hotel room shortly after lunching with her husband John by the pool.

The prosecution claim she returned to her room to fetch biscuits for her tea and caught the accused stealing in her room.

Earlier in court a policeman remained silent when asked what he did with Treebhoowoon the morning after the crime.

Treebhoowoon alleges that police beat a confession out of him in the wake of the honeymooner's death.

Constable Hans Rouwin Seevathian of the Major Crime Investigation Team was questioned by a defence solicitor about what he and his team did with his client in a two-and-a-half hour period between them arriving at Legends Hotel and Treebhoowoon making a statement in a local police station.

The court fell silent as the officer did not offer an answer.

After a few moments judge Mr Justice Prithviraj Fecknah intervened.

"Let the record show that the witness remains silent to this question," he said.

When further pressed, the officer told defence counsel Sanjeev Teeluckdharry that he was questioning the accused about his movements.

But he repeatedly answered "I can't remember" to a series of other questions posed by the lawyer about his involvement with the accused in the days after the murder.

Mrs McAreavey's father-in-law Brendan McAreavey and her sister-in-law Claire McAreavey watched the exchanges from the public gallery.

Her widower John has returned to the island but cannot be in court until he gives evidence as a prosecution witness.

One of the main entrances to the Supreme Court building in Port Louis was blocked off ahead of the start of proceedings after part of a tree fell down in high winds last night.

A jury of nine - six men and three women - is hearing the case.

Almost 50 witnesses are listed to give evidence.

Though most Mauritians speak French Creole as their first language, court proceedings are being heard in English.

The case against Treebhoowoon, from Plaine des Roches, and Moneea, from Petit Raffray, was scheduled to last two weeks but is set to go on for much longer with judge Fecknah having warned that a "lengthy trial" was ahead.

It is already one the most high-profile criminal cases held on the island.

Mrs McAreavey, from Ballygawley, Co Tyrone, was the only daughter of Harte, the GAA boss who has steered his native county to three All Ireland championships.

The Legends Hotel, which has since been renamed the Lux Hotel, is in the fishing village of Grand Gaube, close to Mauritius's Grand Bay.

Mrs McAreavey taught religious education and the Irish language at St Patrick's Academy in Dungannon, Co Tyrone.

Her Requiem Mass was held close to her family home at St Malachy's chapel in Ballymacilroy - the same church in which she had married a fortnight before she was killed.

Then-Irish president Mary McAleese was among dignitaries at a funeral attended by more than 3,000 people.



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