Hotel guard is fifth man charged in Michaela death probe
Published 22/01/2011 | 05:00
A FIFTH man has been charged in connection with the death of Michaela Harte.
Seenarain Mungoo (39), with an address at Petit-Raffray in Mauritius, was yesterday provisionally charged at Mapou District Court with conspiracy to murder.
The police believe Mungoo was the last one who "handled" the card key which was used to open room 1025, the room where Michaela was murdered.
The suspect was working as a security officer at the five-star Legends Hotel in Grand Gaube on the Indian Ocean island.
Mungoo was arrested based on the allegations made by the fourth suspect, security officer Dassen Narrainen.
Mr Narrainen told investigators of the Major Crime Investigation Team (MCIT) that he saw Mungoo "handling" the electronic key of the couple's room on January 8, the day after the keycard was allegedly duplicated.
"I saw him (Mungoo) handling the key on January 8 in the office," said Narrainen in his statement.
But lawyers for Mr Mungoo have denied the charges, who will appear at the same court next Friday -- where his detention may be extended.
A sixth man working at the Legends Hotel was being quizzed by police yesterday.
It has emerged, meanwhile, that officers have yet to view the CCTV footage from the hotel.
Superintendent Yussuf Soopun of the Major Crimes Investigation Unit (MCIT) in Mauritius said they had planned to begin viewing the footage yesterday, but will instead start today.
"They were all a gang, the security guard, the room supervisor, the room attendant," he told the Irish Independent, "We are definitely sure we're going to have sufficient evidence.
"We have several independent witnesses who have identified people."
But Ravi Rutnah, barrister for one of the accused, has questioned the police investigation.
He said they have not disclosed any evidence to him and he does not know what links his client to the crime.
"In Ireland, there are laws about disclosure of evidence," he said, "But in Mauritius they don't do this, we are not getting any disclosure."
Meanwhile, this Sunday's game in the McKenna cup will be dedicated to Michaela.
Tyrone's footballers, managed by Michaela's father, Mickey Harte, will play Donegal at home tomorrow at 2pm.
A spokesman for Tyrone GAA said they plan to hold a minute's silence before the game.