Belfast Telegraph

Police raid Michaela McAreavey body pictures newspaper

Detectives in Mauritius have raided the offices of the newspaper which published images of murdered Northern Ireland woman Michaela McAreavey's body

No-one was questioned by police and no arrests were made but some material was recovered from island's Sunday Times office, police spokesman Dar Maragen said.

"Police searched the office of the Sunday Times and secured some newspapers," said Mr Maragen from Port Louis.

"An investigation has now begun and the Commissioner of Police has started an inquiry into the paper."

Mr McAreavey and other family members returned home from Mauritius at the weekend, after a gruelling eight-week trial.

The paper's director, General Imran Hosany, has issued an apology saying the motive was not sensationalism but was "to recall that such a heinous crime remained unpunished".

Legends hotel workers Sandip Moneea and Avinash Treebhoowoon were cleared of Mrs McAreavey's killing by a jury at the Supreme Court in Port Louis last Thursday.

Mrs McAreavey, 27, was the daughter of Tyrone gaelic football manager Mickey Harte.

The teacher was found dead in the bathtub of her deluxe room shortly after lunching with her husband at a poolside restaurant.

Both defendants worked at the hotel at the time.

The Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said that the authorities in Mauritius had serious questions to answer.

They are to write to the government in Mauritius as well as consult the Attorney General to find out if any future trial had been jeopardised because of the publication.

Mr McGuinness is also travelling to London on Thursday to meet the Mauritian High Commissioner.

The First Minister said: "Have the McAreavey and Harte families not already suffered enough? This paper by their actions has inflicted more pain and suffering on them and the decision to print these images is utterly contemptible."

Mr McGuinness said there had been a deep sense of anger and horror.

He added: "To date justice has been denied to the McAreavey and Harte families and the publication of these photographs at the end of what has been a very difficult week for them has compounded their grief. We are dismayed and astonished at this blatant invasion of privacy.

"Our faith in the legal system in Mauritius has already been damaged and it is important that nothing should be allowed to get in the way of justice being done in this horrific case."

Elsewhere, a travel agent in Co Donegal has stopped selling trips to Mauritius out of solidarity to Mrs McAreavey's family.

Caroline Davies, who owns Liberty Travel in Letterkenny, said she was disgusted after details emerged during the trial of how authorities treated Mr McAreavey in the aftermath of his wife's death.

"They locked him in a room and told him he would find another wife. I thought that was appalling," said Ms Davies.

"So I took the decision not to sell Mauritius as a mark of solidarity to the family."

The travel shop owner said Mauritius was not a big seller anyway, however it has divided opinion among holidaymakers.

"I've had some people come in since the murder saying 'I hope you're not selling Mauritius', but then others have told me what happened wouldn't put them off going," she said.

Ms Davies added that she would not sell a holiday if it is not somewhere she would be willing to travel to herself.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph