| 16.4°C Belfast

Police in Mauritius probing Michaela murder arrest ex-hotel security guard

Suspect’s lawyer claims detention in relation to theft, not killing of bride


Michaela McAreavey on her wedding day. She was murdered 10 days later

Michaela McAreavey on her wedding day. She was murdered 10 days later

Michaela McAreavey on her wedding day. She was murdered 10 days later

Detectives investigating the murder of honeymooner Michaela McAreavey in Mauritius have arrested a former security guard at the hotel where she died.

A lawyer for Dassen Narayen said his client was detained yesterday.

Vikash Teeluckdharry said Narayen was questioned about allegations of theft at the Legends Hotel around the time of the Co Tyrone teacher’s murder in 2011. He said his client denied any wrongdoing.

Following Mrs McAreavey’s killing, Narayen was initially charged with conspiracy to murder, but that was later reduced to a larceny charge.

The larceny charge was struck out in 2013.

Mrs McAreavey (27) was strangled in her room at the hotel on January 10, 2011.

The teacher, who had got married 10 days earlier, was attacked as she returned to her room alone and disturbed a burglary.

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

No one has been convicted of killing the daughter of former Tyrone Gaelic football manager Mickey Harte.

Two workers at the luxury resort — Sandip Moneea and Avinash Treebhoowoon — were acquitted of murder after a high-profile trial in summer 2012.

Mr Teeluckdharry said Narayen was quizzed about the 2011 larceny allegations yesterday.

“He was questioned under warning, he was detained, he was arrested,” he told the Press Association.

The lawyer said Narayen was taken to hospital in the capital Port Louis during his police detention and was being treated for longstanding health issues last night.

Local media said Narayen was arrested by Mauritius’ Major Crime Investigation Team led by ASP Ghoorah yesterday morning, before he was taken to the Central Barracks.

Defimedia reported that he couldn’t be questioned due to health concerns, and that at 2pm he was taken to the North Hospital.

They quoted Mr Teeluckdharry saying that he will be kept under arrest in hospital.

Mr Teeluckdharry claimed that police in Mauritius were attempting to suggest there had been a major development in the murder case.

“This is all nonsense. There is nothing new,” he insisted.

He said his client was innocent.

“He’s denied this from day one and it’s the same situation today,” he added.

Police in Mauritius have been approached for comment.

Narayen had initially been charged with conspiracy to murder.

This was later downgraded to conspiracy to commit larceny after he confessed to giving Moneea the key card to access the McAreaveys’ room.

Narayen retracted the confession, saying it had been extracted at gunpoint by police — a claim the authorities denied.

While the card marked GMK supervisor 2 was never found, it was established that Narayen’s DNA was discovered on an additional key card in the couple’s room.

His DNA was also found on the guest safe in room 1025. He denied any involvement in Michaela’s death, and all charges were dropped in 2013.

In an autobiography published last October, Mr Harte recalled how his wife “collapsed, unconscious” in his arms after he told her their daughter had been murdered while on honeymoon.

“Ultimately, we want justice for Michaela, but who knows when that day will come. So I have to keep my feelings in check,” he wrote.

“My wellbeing cannot depend on the outcome of a case that could run for many more years. Life has to be that way for me or else I think I would find it hard to move forward.”

Top Videos