Friday 23 March 2018

Husband faces pair accused of wife's killing

A large cardboard box and black plastic bag, believed to contain evidence, were brought into the courtroom.

Mr McAreavey was supported by diplomat Pat McRann from the Irish Embassy in South Africa and two officers from the PSNI, who had also travelled to the tiny Indian Ocean island.

However, Mr McAreavey spent just minutes in the room with the men accused of murdering Michaela and missed the dramatic scenes.

All witnesses were corralled in to an adjoining room, with Mr McAreavey's father Brendan and sister Claire taking turns to keep him company.

Both defendants pleaded "not guilty" to the charge of killing Michaela.

Mr Treebhoowoon had previously confessed that he took part in the burglary of the McAreavey's hotel room and said that he saw Mr Moneea killing the young bride.

Yesterday, he pleaded "not guilty" to this charge.

His defence team have said that his confession was extracted as a result of beatings after his arrest last year, an allegation that the Mauritian police force has denied.


The nine-person jury was selected with the judge instructing them to avoid all media coverage of the trial before they were sequestered to an unnamed hotel.

Mr McAreavey returned to the courtroom before it adjourned for lunch to hear that he is scheduled to testify early next week.

Additional witnesses named in court yesterday include five more staff members of Legends Hotel and a forensics expert, all called by counsel for Mr Moneea, Rama Valayden.

Mr Treebhoowoon's wife, Reshma, and father, Sooriadeo, will also enter the witness box.

The defence and prosecution engaged in legal arguments for the rest of the afternoon.

The judge is, this morning, expected to rule on a defence application to have the "particulars, the details and circumstances" of Ms McAreavey's death set out by the prosecution in detail, prior to the trial starting in earnest today.

Afterwards, outside court, Claire McAreavey appealed for the family's privacy to be respected during the trial.

"This is very distressing time for both our families and the days ahead will be very difficult for us," she said.

She urged the media for "space".

"Thank you for your support and we ask for your prayers at this time," she added.

Irish Independent

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