Sunday 22 October 2017

Michaela murder trial: Accused hotel worker called for doctor when her body was found

David Young, Press Association in Port Louis, Mauritius

A HOTEL worker accused of murdering Michaela McAreavey called for a doctor when the honeymooner's body was discovered, his trial in Mauritius has heard.



Sandip Moneea told police that he phoned the reception at the Legends Hotel when the Co Tyrone teacher was found strangled and asked for medical assistance.



The 42-year-old defendant denies any involvement in murdering the daughter of Tyrone Gaelic football boss Mickey Harte in the luxury beachside complex last January.



Statements he made to detectives in the days following the crime were today read to his trial by a senior investigating officer Ranjit Jokhoo.



In them, Moneea said: "I don't know anything in that murder case. I heard that the woman got killed but I don't know who killed her."



Moneea and co-accused and fellow Legends employee Avinash Treebhoowoon, 31, are standing trial in the Supreme Court in Port Louis. Both deny the murder.



In the interviews with police, Moneea said he was working in other rooms at the hotel when Mrs McAreavey was strangled in room 1025.



He said he only became aware of the incident when the hotel manager sprinted past him in the direction of the room and he followed.



Moneea said he stood outside and watched manager Brice Lunot perform CPR on Mrs McAreavey and then entered to make the emergency call.



He added: "I called the operator and attempted to reach out for a doctor."



Mrs McAreavey's widower John watched from the public gallery as Moneea was ordered by judge Mr Justice Prithviraj Fecknah to stand up as his statements were read to the jury by Mr Jokhoo.



Mr McAreavey was accompanied by his brother-in-law Mark Harte.



The prosecution claim Moneea and Treebhoowoon killed the 27-year-old Ballygawley woman when she returned to her room and caught them stealing.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News