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McAreavey witness accused of lying

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Murdered Michaela McAreavey and her husband John on their wedding day (Irish News/PA)

Murdered Michaela McAreavey and her husband John on their wedding day (Irish News/PA)

Raj Theekoy, witness for the prosecution at the Michaela McAreavey murder trial, arrives at the Supreme court in Port Louis, Mauritius

Raj Theekoy, witness for the prosecution at the Michaela McAreavey murder trial, arrives at the Supreme court in Port Louis, Mauritius

Murdered Michaela McAreavey and her husband John on their wedding day (Irish News/PA)

A hotel cleaner who has implicated two men on trial for murdering Michaela McAreavey in Mauritius has been accused of lying in court.

Raj Theekoy, who was arrested in the wake of the honeymooner's death, also faced claims that his desire to get out of prison influenced his witness statement to police.

Mr Theekoy alleges he saw defendants Sandip Moneea and Avinash Treebhoowoon leave room 1025 of the island's Legends Hotel minutes after hearing a woman inside scream in pain.

But the court heard claims that Mr Theekoy was drinking tea and joking with Treebhoowoon in the hotel's staff canteen an hour after the daughter of Tyrone Gaelic football boss Mickey Harte was found strangled in the room.

The key prosecution witness denied he had been untruthful on the stand when defence lawyer Rama Valayden challenged: "You are lying."

Mr Theekoy replied: "Whatever I have seen or heard is the same as what I have told the court."

The prosecution says 27-year-old teacher Mrs McAreavey was murdered after she left her husband John at a poolside restaurant in the hotel to fetch biscuits from her room, only to walk in on Moneea and Treebhoowoon stealing.

Mr McAreavey is due to take the witness stand in the high-profile trial at the Supreme Court in Port Louis tomorrow morning. While he has been on the island throughout the last 11 days of evidence, he has been unable to attend court proceedings until called to give evidence.

Aside from Mr Theekoy's cross-examination, the trial today heard from the waiter who served the couple lunch minutes before the honeymooner was murdered, and the doctor who pronounced her dead as she lay on the floor of her room.

Fellow room cleaner Treebhoowoon, 31, from Plaine des Roches, and floor supervisor Moneea, 42, from Petit Raffray, deny murdering the Irish language and religious education teacher in the gated beachside complex last January.

PA