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John McAreavey and wife Michaela McAreavey on their wedding day at St. Malachy's Church Ballymacilrory.

John McAreavey and wife Michaela McAreavey on their wedding day at St. Malachy's Church Ballymacilrory.

Clarire McAreavey, sister of  John McAreavery arrives at the Supreme court in Port Louis, Mauritius,on day two of the murder trial of  Michaela

Clarire McAreavey, sister of John McAreavery arrives at the Supreme court in Port Louis, Mauritius,on day two of the murder trial of Michaela

Paul Faith

Sandip Moneea, 42 (right), arrives at the Supreme Court in Port Louis, Mauritius, where he will stand trial accused of strangling Michaela McAreavey

Sandip Moneea, 42 (right), arrives at the Supreme Court in Port Louis, Mauritius, where he will stand trial accused of strangling Michaela McAreavey

Paul Faith

John McAreavey, husband of Michaela McAreavey arrives at the Supreme Court in Port Louis, Mauritius  May 22, 2012.

John McAreavey, husband of Michaela McAreavey arrives at the Supreme Court in Port Louis, Mauritius May 22, 2012.

Paul Faith

John McAreavey, husband of Michaela McAreavey arrives at the Supreme Court in Port Louis, Mauritius where two men are standing trial for her murder on their honeymoon a year ago.

John McAreavey, husband of Michaela McAreavey arrives at the Supreme Court in Port Louis, Mauritius where two men are standing trial for her murder on their honeymoon a year ago.

Paul Faith

Avinash Treebhoowoon, 30, arrives at the Supreme Court in Port Louis, Mauritius, where he will stand trial accused of strangling Michaela McAreavey

Avinash Treebhoowoon, 30, arrives at the Supreme Court in Port Louis, Mauritius, where he will stand trial accused of strangling Michaela McAreavey

Paul Faith

Sandip Moneea, 42 (right) greets family members as he arrives at the Supreme Court in Port Louis, Mauritius, where he will stand trial accused of strangling Michaela McAreavey, 27, the daughter ofÊTyrone gaelic football manager Mickey Harte as she honeymooned in Mauritius.

Sandip Moneea, 42 (right) greets family members as he arrives at the Supreme Court in Port Louis, Mauritius, where he will stand trial accused of strangling Michaela McAreavey, 27, the daughter ofÊTyrone gaelic football manager Mickey Harte as she honeymooned in Mauritius.

Paul Faith

Sandip Moneea, 42, arrives at the Supreme Court in Port Louis, Mauritius, where he will stand trial accused of strangling Michaela McAreavey

Sandip Moneea, 42, arrives at the Supreme Court in Port Louis, Mauritius, where he will stand trial accused of strangling Michaela McAreavey

Paul Faith

John McAreavey and wife Michaela Harte are seen on their wedding day at St. Malacheys Church Ballymacilrory on December 30, 2010.

John McAreavey and wife Michaela Harte are seen on their wedding day at St. Malacheys Church Ballymacilrory on December 30, 2010.

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte and his daughter Michaela after the All Ireland Football Final 28/9/2003

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte and his daughter Michaela after the All Ireland Football Final 28/9/2003

Michaela Harte, daughter of Tyrone GAA manager Mickey Harte.  Pic by Ian Magill.  23/3/10.Real Woman feature by Stephanie Bell.

Michaela Harte, daughter of Tyrone GAA manager Mickey Harte. Pic by Ian Magill. 23/3/10.Real Woman feature by Stephanie Bell.

Ian Magill

John and Michaela McAreavey on their honeymoon

John and Michaela McAreavey on their honeymoon

John and Michaela McAreavey at the Giant's Causeway in north Antrim

John and Michaela McAreavey at the Giant's Causeway in north Antrim

A wedding picture on the front of the Order of Service at Michaela McAreavey's funeral

A wedding picture on the front of the Order of Service at Michaela McAreavey's funeral

Four hotel workers have been remanded in custody in Mauritius over the murder of Michaela McAreavey, pictured with her husband John

Four hotel workers have been remanded in custody in Mauritius over the murder of Michaela McAreavey, pictured with her husband John

Michaela McAreavey

Michaela McAreavey

The wedding party (from left) Mickey Harte, John McAreavey, Michaela McAreavey, Bishop John McAreavey and Brendan McAreavey

The wedding party (from left) Mickey Harte, John McAreavey, Michaela McAreavey, Bishop John McAreavey and Brendan McAreavey

Michaela and John McAreavey outside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France

Michaela and John McAreavey outside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France

Michaela McAreavey's coffin is carried from her parents' home in Ballygawley, Co Tyrone

Michaela McAreavey's coffin is carried from her parents' home in Ballygawley, Co Tyrone

Niall Carson

The heartbroken husband of murdered honeymooner Michaela McAreavey says he has been left totally devastated

The heartbroken husband of murdered honeymooner Michaela McAreavey says he has been left totally devastated

Tyrone Manager Mickey Harte at his daughter Michaela's wedding to John McAreavey

Tyrone Manager Mickey Harte at his daughter Michaela's wedding to John McAreavey

John and Michaela McAreavey, pictured here on a visit to the Giant's Causeway. The couple were on honeymoon in Mauritius when Michaela was murdered.

John and Michaela McAreavey, pictured here on a visit to the Giant's Causeway. The couple were on honeymoon in Mauritius when Michaela was murdered.

The remains of murdered honeymooner Michaela McAreavey return home last night from Mauritius.

The remains of murdered honeymooner Michaela McAreavey return home last night from Mauritius.

The remains of murdered honeymooner Michaela McAreavey return home last night from Mauritius.

The remains of murdered honeymooner Michaela McAreavey return home last night from Mauritius.

Niall Carson

Former Tyrone Captain Peter Canavan (3rd left) joins members of the Errigal Ciaran GAA Club line the route as a hearse transporting the body of murdered Mauritius honeymooner Michaela McAreavey approaches in Ballygawley, Co Tyrone.

Former Tyrone Captain Peter Canavan (3rd left) joins members of the Errigal Ciaran GAA Club line the route as a hearse transporting the body of murdered Mauritius honeymooner Michaela McAreavey approaches in Ballygawley, Co Tyrone.

Niall Carson

The body of Michaela McAreavey left George Best Belfast City airport in a hearse on Friday afternoon.

The body of Michaela McAreavey left George Best Belfast City airport in a hearse on Friday afternoon.

Michaela McAreavey's husband John, (foreground), waits for the hearse to leave Belfast city airport under police escort on the last leg of ehe journey home

Michaela McAreavey's husband John, (foreground), waits for the hearse to leave Belfast city airport under police escort on the last leg of ehe journey home

Alan Lewis

Michaela's remains leave Victoria Hospital in Muiritius yesterday en route to the airport. 13th January 2011.

Michaela's remains leave Victoria Hospital in Muiritius yesterday en route to the airport. 13th January 2011.

John McAreavey, husband of Michaela Harte leaving the mortuary at Victoria Hospital in Mauritius yesterday wearing her wedding ring and engagement ring around his neck

John McAreavey, husband of Michaela Harte leaving the mortuary at Victoria Hospital in Mauritius yesterday wearing her wedding ring and engagement ring around his neck

John McAreavey, husband of Michaela Harte leaving the mortuary at Victoria Hospital in Mauritius yesterday wearing her wedding ring and engagement ring around his neck

John McAreavey, husband of Michaela Harte leaving the mortuary at Victoria Hospital in Mauritius yesterday wearing her wedding ring and engagement ring around his neck

A hearse with the body of Michaela McAreavey, leaves George Best Belfast city airport.  Friday January 14, 2011.

A hearse with the body of Michaela McAreavey, leaves George Best Belfast city airport. Friday January 14, 2011.

Paul Faith

Michaela McAreavey on her wedding day

Michaela McAreavey on her wedding day

Irish News

John McAreavey and wife Michaela Harte are seen on their wedding day

John McAreavey and wife Michaela Harte are seen on their wedding day

Irish News

Michaela Harte Far Right front in St.Malachy's Primary School where she attended and later done her teaching placement..

Michaela Harte Far Right front in St.Malachy's Primary School where she attended and later done her teaching placement..

Raj Theekoy

Raj Theekoy

George Michel

Suspect Avinash Treebhoowoon (29) is brought to Mapou Court, Port Louis Mauritius, Wednesday, Jan.12, 2011. The room attendant has been charged with the murder of Michaela McAreavey.

Suspect Avinash Treebhoowoon (29) is brought to Mapou Court, Port Louis Mauritius, Wednesday, Jan.12, 2011. The room attendant has been charged with the murder of Michaela McAreavey.

Suspect Sandip Moneea (41) covers his face as he is escorted to  Mapou Court, Port Louis Mauritius, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011. The floor supervisor has been charged with the murder of Michaela McAreavey.

Suspect Sandip Moneea (41) covers his face as he is escorted to Mapou Court, Port Louis Mauritius, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011. The floor supervisor has been charged with the murder of Michaela McAreavey.

Raj Theekoy (33), faces a conspiracy charge in connection with the murder of Michaela McAreavey.

Raj Theekoy (33), faces a conspiracy charge in connection with the murder of Michaela McAreavey.

A distraught Mickey Harte with son Michael.

A distraught Mickey Harte with son Michael.

Justin Kernoghan

Michaela Harte (left) in St.Malachy's Primary School where she attended as a pupil and later completed her teaching placement.

Michaela Harte (left) in St.Malachy's Primary School where she attended as a pupil and later completed her teaching placement.

Michaela Harte in with Throphy in  St.Malachy's Primary School where Michaela attended and later done her teaching placement

Michaela Harte in with Throphy in St.Malachy's Primary School where Michaela attended and later done her teaching placement

Micheala Harte in fancy dress in  St.Malachy's Primary School where she attended as a pupil and later completed her teaching placement..

Micheala Harte in fancy dress in St.Malachy's Primary School where she attended as a pupil and later completed her teaching placement..

A distraught Mickey Harte with sons Matthew (left) and Michael at their family home near Ballygawley

A distraught Mickey Harte with sons Matthew (left) and Michael at their family home near Ballygawley

Justin Kernoghan

Michaela Harte  after she had received a B.Ed at Queens University Belfast. (Picture taken in June 2006)

Michaela Harte after she had received a B.Ed at Queens University Belfast. (Picture taken in June 2006)

Balloons with the couple's names giving directions to St Malachy's Church outside Ballygwley where they recently got married

Balloons with the couple's names giving directions to St Malachy's Church outside Ballygwley where they recently got married

A distraught Mickey Harte at his family home near Ballygawley

A distraught Mickey Harte at his family home near Ballygawley

Wedding flowers from the couple's recent marriage at St Malachy's Church outside Ballygawley

Wedding flowers from the couple's recent marriage at St Malachy's Church outside Ballygawley

Alan Lewis - PhotopressBelfast.co.uk       11/1/2011Mandatory Credit - Picture by Justin KernoghanA distraught Mickey Harte with sons Matthew (left) and Michael at their family home near Ballygawley today.Michaela, the daughter of Tyrone gaelic football manager Mickey Harte was strangled, Mauritius police have said.Michaela McAreavey, 27, was found dead at the Legends hotel in Mauritius where she was staying while on honeymoon.The 27-year-old Irish woman had married John McAreavey, a member of Down's gaelic football team, on 30 December. He is not a suspect.Police in Mauritius intend to question six people about the killing later on Tuesday.

Alan Lewis - PhotopressBelfast.co.uk 11/1/2011Mandatory Credit - Picture by Justin KernoghanA distraught Mickey Harte with sons Matthew (left) and Michael at their family home near Ballygawley today.Michaela, the daughter of Tyrone gaelic football manager Mickey Harte was strangled, Mauritius police have said.Michaela McAreavey, 27, was found dead at the Legends hotel in Mauritius where she was staying while on honeymoon.The 27-year-old Irish woman had married John McAreavey, a member of Down's gaelic football team, on 30 December. He is not a suspect.Police in Mauritius intend to question six people about the killing later on Tuesday.

A wedding sign and balloons telling wedding guests directions to the church near the family home in Ballygawley

A wedding sign and balloons telling wedding guests directions to the church near the family home in Ballygawley

Justin Kernoghan

Mickey Harte (centre), is comforted at the family home outside Ballygawley in Co Tyrone

Mickey Harte (centre), is comforted at the family home outside Ballygawley in Co Tyrone

(From the left) Mickey Harte, John McAreavey, Michaela Harte, Bishop John McAreavey and Brendan McAreavey are seen on the wedding day of Michaela Harte and John McAreavey

(From the left) Mickey Harte, John McAreavey, Michaela Harte, Bishop John McAreavey and Brendan McAreavey are seen on the wedding day of Michaela Harte and John McAreavey

Irish News

Donegal Celtic and Cliftonville observe a minutes silence in respect of Michaela Harte at the game in west Belfast

Donegal Celtic and Cliftonville observe a minutes silence in respect of Michaela Harte at the game in west Belfast

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte and his daughter Michaella

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte and his daughter Michaella

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte and his daughter Michaela after the All Ireland Football Final 28/9/2003

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte and his daughter Michaela after the All Ireland Football Final 28/9/2003

©INPHO/Patrick Bolger

Michaela Harte

Michaela Harte

Ian Magill

Irish News handout of (left to right) Mickey Harte, John McAreavey, Michaela Harte, Bishop John McAreavey and Brendan McAreavey  on the wedding day of Michaela Harte and John McAreavey at St. Malacheys Church Ballymacilrory on December 30, 2010. Michaela, the daughter of Tyrone GAA manager Mickey Harte was murdered in her hotel room, police in Mauritius confirmed today.

Irish News handout of (left to right) Mickey Harte, John McAreavey, Michaela Harte, Bishop John McAreavey and Brendan McAreavey on the wedding day of Michaela Harte and John McAreavey at St. Malacheys Church Ballymacilrory on December 30, 2010. Michaela, the daughter of Tyrone GAA manager Mickey Harte was murdered in her hotel room, police in Mauritius confirmed today.

Irish News

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte with his son David and daughter Michaela after his side's win at Croke Park

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte with his son David and daughter Michaela after his side's win at Croke Park

Trevor Martin.

Tyrone GAA boss Mickey Harte graduates at Queens University pictured with his daughter Machela who also graduatedand became a Bachelor in Education

Tyrone GAA boss Mickey Harte graduates at Queens University pictured with his daughter Machela who also graduatedand became a Bachelor in Education

Michaela Harte appearing on the television programme the Late Late Show.

Michaela Harte appearing on the television programme the Late Late Show.

RTE

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte celebrates with his daughter Michaela and his son Matthew

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte celebrates with his daughter Michaela and his son Matthew

©INPHO/Patrick Bolger

John McAreavey and wife Michaela Harte are seen on their wedding day at St. Malacheys Church Ballymacilrory on December 30, 2010.

John McAreavey and wife Michaela Harte are seen on their wedding day at St. Malacheys Church Ballymacilrory on December 30, 2010.

Irish News

Mickey Harte, pictured in 2006 with his daughter Michaela

Mickey Harte, pictured in 2006 with his daughter Michaela

John McAreavey and wife Michaela McAreavey on their wedding day at St. Malachy's Church Ballymacilrory.

Mauritius: A portion of takeaway food can seldom have attracted as much focus at a murder trial.

Especially one with absolutely no direct link to the crime.

But barrister Ravi Rutnah's alleged consumption of a police officer's carton of fried rice was centre-stage again for a time on day nine of the Michaela McAreavey case.

The claim that he accepted the food from chief inspector Luciano Gerard was part of the reason the outspoken defence lawyer dramatically withdrew from the trial earlier in the week.

Mr Gerard's recollection of the encounter at his office, along with his allegation that Mr Rutnah was more than an hour late arriving for that meeting with accused Avinash Treebhoowoon, amounted, the advocate insisted, to an accusatory attack on his reputation.

With Mr Rutnah gone but not forgotten, his colleague, Sanjeev Teeluckdharry, took on the task of getting to the bottom of fried rice-gate.

The senior defence counsel first probed the officer's claim that he did not care much for the dish. This, he insisted, did not quite tally if his men had gone out and bought him some.

"Officers went to buy fried rice even though you don't like fried rice?" he queried.

Senior prosecution counsel Mehdi Manrakhan did not quite see it like that.

"He didn't say that," he interjected vociferously.

"He didn't say his officers brought him fried rice even though he doesn't like fried rice."

On advice from the judge Prithjviraj Fecknah, Mr Teeluckdharry took another approach.

"You said your officers brought fried rice for you and Coca-Cola. You said to court you gave your fried rice to Mr Rutnah. Can you tell the court at what time that would be?"

The officer replied, noting the time the lawyer arrived at the major crime investigation team (MCIT) offices in Port Louis: "It must be around 20:33."

The barrister continued: "If I understand correctly, you welcomed him with fried rice and Coca-Cola at the offices of the MCIT?"

Mr Gerard said he would not have quite described it as a welcome: "But whilst we were sitting in the room, in the video room, at one point in time Mr Rutnah said he had not had his dinner yet so I gave him my takeaway."

Mr Teeluckdharry wanted confirmation, knowing he had something up his sleeve.

"You gave your fried rice to Mr Rutnah?"

The policeman replied: "Yes, I am adamant about that."

The tenacious defence counsel then produced his trump card: a statement from Mr Gerard's superior, superintendent Yoosoof Soopun, in which he claimed it was actually him who donated rice to a hungry Mr Rutnah.

"Mr Soopun said he gave fried rice to Mr Ravi Rutnah, and not on the 12th but on 13th January."

This was one occasion when Mr Gerard appeared to have no problem contradicting his boss.

"If Mr Soopun had given a statement that it was on the 13th I will say that Mr Soopun has made a error. I am totally sure about that."

The lawyer hit back: "My instructions are, neither your version or the version of Mr Soopun are correct."

Mr Gerard stood by his story: "I would say my version was correct because it was my takeaway. And I gave it to Mr Rutnah."

Mr Teeluckdharry insisted he was incorrect and went further, claiming the whole thing had been made up in an attempt to force Mr Rutnah to step aside. He said: "These are allegations and a below-the-belt attack on a legal representative."

Mr Manrakhan reacted with incredulity: "What allegations? Giving someone your fried rice is not an allegation? Below the belt?"

Judge Fecknah said his view was that the rice was only part of the defence's claim against the officer.

If the prosecutor was infuriated, he was not as vexed as Mr Teeluckdharry who effectively challenged him to either put up or shut up.

He warned: "Either my friend objects to my question or he walks out of the courtroom."



Police admit lapses

Police failed to interview a series of potential witnesses in the aftermath of Michaela McAreavey's murder, a senior officer admitted in court.

Detectives did not take statements from a number of fellow guests at the luxury Legends Hotel in Mauritius who were staying close to the room where the tragic honeymooner was strangled, the trial of two men accused of the murder heard.

The chief inspector who led the investigation also told the jury at the Supreme Court in Port Louis that hotel CCTV footage was not used to establish where certain suspects had been during the day of the crime - with only the movements of Mrs McAreavey's husband John fully traced.

Questioned by a lawyer for Sandip Moneea, one of the two Legends employees accused of the murder, Chief Inspector Luciano Gerard conceded he did not know that two garments - a bikini top and belt - had been found at the crime scene when police finally handed control of room 1025 back to the hotel two weeks later.

Moneea, 42, and Avinash Treebhoowoon, 31, both deny murdering the daughter of Tyrone gaelic football boss Mickey Harte last January.

Earlier, Mr Gerard rejected a claim that he denied Treebhoowoon his constitutional rights by interrogating him without a lawyer present. The hotel cleaner confessed to the murder but has since insisted the admission was beaten out of him.

His lawyer, Sanjeev Teeluckdharry, accused police of mixing together various previous statements to produce the confession and then forcing his client to sign it. Mr Gerard insisted Treebhoowoon signed it voluntarily.

Mr Teeluckdharry also defended the length of time - almost six hours - he took to cross-examine the police officer.

"I understand the time frame but my client could be sent to hell for 60 years and I will need to take as long I need to take," he said.

A Legends employee who claims he heard cries from room 1025 and then saw the two defendants emerge was poised to take the witness stand today.

But just after Raj Theekoy entered court, judge Mr Justice Prithviraj Fecknah decided it was too late in the day to embark on fresh testimony and told him to return on Monday.

Mr Theekoy was originally a suspect in the case but has since had a conspiracy to murder charge against him dropped.

After Mr Teeluckdharry's examination was finally completed, Moneea's barrister Rama Valayden took his turn to question Mr Gerard.

The officer, who confirmed he had not interviewed Moneea at any stage, faced a number of taxing questions about the police's handling of the wider investigation.

Mr Valayden listed the occupants of the rooms near the murder scene in the hotel's deluxe block one by one - 1021, 1023, 1029, 1123, 1126.

Each time the officer responded "no" when asked was a statement taken from the guests.

Mr Valayden then turned to a husband and wife who had just booked into room 1125.

"Do you know there was also a German couple, Mr and Mrs Marcus Schaer, who arrived at the hotel on January 10th around noon," he asked.

"They were in room 1125 and following what happened in room 1025 on 10th January asked to move to another room."

The lawyer claimed the couple had wanted to make a statement but were not facilitated because they could not speak English or French.

Mr Valayden said they wanted to report "something they had seen."

Mr Gerard said he had no knowledge of it.

"None of my officers told me of this," he said.

Mr Valayden then named two medics who attended to Mrs McAreavey after she was found and two shop assistants who had been working close by.

The officer said he had not heard the names before and did not know if statements had been taken from them.

He conceded that a security guard working at the front gates of the hotel was also not asked to provide records of all people leaving and entering the hotel on the day.

The prosecution claims the defendants strangled the 27-year-old teacher when she caught them red-handed stealing from her room, having momentarily left her husband at the pool to fetch biscuits for her tea.

The Co Tyrone woman's father-in-law Brendan McAreavey and sister-in-law Claire McAreavey were in court to hear the exchanges.

Her widower John remains elsewhere on the island, unable to attend proceedings until he is called as a prosecution witness.

Mr Valayden told the court that there were five cameras in and around the scene of the crime. He asked did police review the footage from noon to midnight from all cameras - 60 hours' worth.

Mr Gerard said he did not do it personally but two other officers were given the task.

But when asked if the movements of certain suspects, including Moneea, were retraced on camera throughout the day, the officer said no.

"Did you do it for John McAreavey," the lawyer added.

"Yes, they have done it for him," the policeman replied.

Explaining why the movements of suspects had not be compiled, Mr Gerard said: "The whole deluxe quarter is not covered by CCTV."

The lawyer then turned to the swipe cards used to access the room.

He asked the chief inspector did he know that the only cards found in the room were blue and white in colour while the McAreaveys had been issued golden "all inclusive" cards.

"I don't know, I cannot say," Mr Gerard responded.

Mr Valayden said the cards expired after one month - with the cards in question set to be wiped on January 15.

"So the cards were not checked," he claimed.

In regard to the card readers on the room doors, the officer said only 1025 was examined on the day of the murder.

He said others were checked in later days but he was not sure when.

While there were records for 198 rooms in the hotel, Mr Gerard said only those in the deluxe block were examined.

"As far as I am aware we only checked block deluxe," he said.

The room was handed back to the control of the hotel two weeks after the murder.

Mr Valayden confronted the policeman with claims that staff found two items of clothing when they were allowed back in.

One was a red bikini top discovered under a wardrobe.

"There was also a multi-coloured belt - red, yellow and green like colours of rainbow - found," he said.

"It was secured by security officers at the hotel."

Mr Gerard said he was not aware of it.

"No, they have not produced it to police," he insisted.

Mr Valayden asked the officer did he know that five finger and palm prints had been found in the room that did not belong to any of the men originally quizzed about the crime, including the two accused, or from Mr and Mrs McAreavey.

The officer confirmed he knew of their existence.

Belfast Telegraph