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Sunday 17 December 2017

Accused's father thought statement he signed was to secure son's freedom

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

THE father of a man accused of murdering Michaela McAreavey claims he thought he was signing for his son's freedom -- when instead he was signing a statement suggesting his son had admitted to "making a mistake".

Avinash Treebhoowoon's father Sooriedeo says he is illiterate. He yesterday claimed that police said they would release his son if he signed an entry in a diary book, two days after the accused man was arrested.

Instead, he signed an entry that read that his son had told him "forget your son now, I have made a mistake".

The defendant has previously denied saying this to his father.

Mr Treebhoowoon Snr also denied that was said during his visit to see his son in police custody.

In cross-examination, however, prosecutor Mehdi Manrakhan accused him of lying to save his son, a former hotel worker, an allegation he also denied.

Proceedings in the Mauritian Supreme Court yesterday began with defence lawyer Sanjeev Teeluckdharry succeeding in getting questions put to his client by the judge last week expunged from the record.

Last Friday, Mr Teeluckdharry had claimed that the questions had "poisoned" the jury's minds against his client and complained about the same issue again yesterday.

Judge Prithviraj Fecknah ordered that the questions he asked be erased from the transcript.

The trial continues today with the other accused man, Sandip Moneea, expected to take to the witness box.

Irish Independent

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