Michaela McAreavey family's dismay at bid to delve into sex life
The family of tragic honeymooner Michaela McAreavey have said they are distressed and dismayed in the wake of a bid to delve into her private life at the trial of two men accused of murdering her.
Court proceedings in Mauritius were adjourned for a time last week following fierce legal clashes when a defence lawyer tried to probe the sex life of the 27-year-old teacher from Co Tyrone and her husband John.
The daughter of Tyrone gaelic football boss Mickey Harte was found strangled in her room in the island's luxury Legends hotel last January.
Two hotel workers - Avinash Treebhoowoon, 30, and Sandip Moneea, 42 - deny murdering her. They are on trial at the criminal court in the Mauritian capital, Port Louis.
On Friday the case took a dramatic twist when Sanjeev Teeluckdharry, a lawyer for Treebhoowoon, attempted to question a police officer about a sex guide found in Michaela's hotel room, asking if it contained material of a violent nature. A vociferous prosecution objection was upheld by the judge.
A statement was on Sunday issued on behalf of the Harte and McAreavey families in response to the court exchanges, saying both were "distressed and dismayed".
"However, they would like to thank the many family, friends and the wider public for their continued support and prayers as they endure this ordeal," the statement added.
"They would particularly ask that people continue to pray so that John may be granted the necessary strength to get through the very difficult and painful days ahead."
Mr McAreavey has flown back to the island for the trial and is due to give evidence as a prosecution witness later in the case.
Court proceedings will continue on Monday when a forensic expert from UK lab Cellmark is due to take the stand.