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Sunday 22 October 2017

Former security guard has day in court on larceny charges

Cormac McQuinn in Mapou

WITH its crumbling facade and red corrugated-iron roof, Mapou District Court, surrounded by sugar cane fields, is about as far from the high-profile murder trial in the bustling capital Port Louis as you can get.

But queueing with almost 300 other people in court on minor charges yesterday morning was Dassen Narayanen.

Mr Narayanen was originally arrested and charged last year in connection with Michaela McAreavey's murder.

In stark contrast to the McAreavey case continuing in the colonial era Supreme Court, the schedule at the ramshackle district court in the north of the island was filled with people charged with minor offences ranging from "failure to produce driving licence" to "smoking tobacco".

But the charge levelled against Mr Narayanen stood out: "Larceny".

The stocky former Legends Hotel security guard looked nonchalant as he waited for his name to be called to enter the court for a brief "provisional and bail" hearing over charges of larceny.

The charge of conspiracy to murder Michaela, which he faced last year along with Avinash Treebhoowoon and Sandip Moneea, was down-graded after he confessed to giving Moneea a key-card to access the honeymoon couple's room.

Mr Narayanen has since claimed that this confession was extracted at gunpoint by police, and has always denied any involvement in Michaela's death. He could face three years in prison and/or a 100,000 rupees (€2,735.36) fine for his alleged role in the botched theft which was apparently disturbed by Michaela when she returned to her hotel room for biscuits.

Irish Independent

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