Belfast Telegraph

Shock as man arrested in Antrim over 1985 murder of exiled Seychelles politician

By Adrian Rutherford

Neighbours of a pensioner arrested in Antrim in connection with the murder of an exiled Seychelles politician have spoken of their shock.

Gerard Hoarau was gunned down on his doorstep in Edgware, north London, on November 29 1985.

The opposition leader was shot with a Sterling sub-machine gun.

Scotland Yard announced yesterday that a 77-year-old suspect had been arrested at 9.50am in Antrim on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.

Officers from the PSNI assisted the operation and helped to search his property.

The man lives in a well-maintained bungalow at the end of a quiet country lane outside Antrim.

Police were seen at the property from 10am yesterday morning.

A large number of unmarked police vehicles were parked in the drive throughout the day, while scenes of crime officers were seen entering and leaving the secluded property.

The suspect has been transported to a police station in south London for questioning.

A business associate said: "He's a very affable guy, really likeable, so it's a massive shock to find out that he's been accused of something like this.

"He always came across as very professional but mostly he was just very friendly, very approachable, in fact he actually came across as more of a friendly grandfather type of figure.

"You would just never think that someone living in Antrim and who comes across as well as he does could be accused of involvement in a murder like this."

Mr Hoarau was the leader of the Mouvement Pour La Resistance (MPR) which sought the peaceful overthrow of the France-Albert René regime which had come to power in a coup d'état.

Police have never solved his murder, but the René government were highly implicated.

Several individuals were previously arrested in connection with his assassination, but no charges followed. Three people were convicted of perverting the course of justice by meddling with the investigation in 1986.

The trail then went cold for decades, prompting a review in 2016.

The man detained yesterday had not previously been arrested as part of the investigation.

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said: "A review of the investigation was initiated in 2016 from which fresh lines of inquiry were established, leading to today's arrest."

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph