Friday 17 November 2017

Defence team in climbdown over CCTV

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

DEFENCE lawyers in the Michaela McAreavey murder trial have been forced to drop questioning centred on controversial CCTV footage which they had said showed Michaela and her husband arguing the day she was killed.

The climbdown came after a police witness said that the couple in the footage were German, identified as Harald Hoyer and Graziella Savarese.

The German pair have since confirmed that it is them in the video.

Mr Hoyer said he would travel to Mauritius to testify. "If I could definitely help the husband of Michaela (I would)," he said.

The low resolution footage appeared to show the couple arguing.

In their latest smear against John McAreavey, the defence had claimed that the video showed the McAreaveys and that the time it was taken, 15.02, was about 15 minutes after the prosecution say she was murdered.

The controversial footage surfaced last week, prompting the Harte and McAreavey families to release a statement saying that the couple in the film was "definitely not" John and Michaela.

Identity

At the end of proceedings prosecutor Mehdi Manrakhan asked the jury to leave and said he would be prepared to close his case if the defence lawyers were "willing to make a statement on the identity of the German couple in the CCTV images".

Both Mr Teeluckdharry and Mr Valayden said they would "not press on this issue".

Judge Prithviraj Fecknalater told the jury: "For the last two days we have been viewing CCTV.

"As far as you are concerned as members of the jury you need not delve any further into this aspect of the evidence."

Irish Independent

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