Monday 20 November 2017

Murder accused phoned for a doctor from hotel room

MichaelaMcAreavey: victim
MichaelaMcAreavey: victim

Cormac McQuinn in Mauritius

THE man accused of strangling Michaela McAreavey denied killing the honeymooner in statements to the police, a court was told yesterday.

Inspector Ranjit Jokhoo of the island's Major Crime Investigation Team (MCIT) recorded statements from Sandip Moneea in the days after his arrest.

Mr Moneea said that on the afternoon of Michaela's death he saw hotel manager Brice Lunot running towards the McAreaveys' suite, room 1025.

He said he followed and used the room's phone to call for a doctor.

He claims that it was only later that day that he discovered Michaela had been killed.

Mr Moneea told Insp Jokhoo: "I don't know how she died and I personally had nothing to do with her death."

He was told by police that co-accused Avinash Treebhoowoon had confessed that he and Mr Moneea were attempting to steal from the McAreaveys when Michaela interrupted them, with Mr Moneea strangling the newly wed.

He responded, saying: "This is completely false because I did not even go there. I don't know why Avinash has incriminated me with such a charge."

It was put to him that he threatened a witness, Raj Theekoy, who says he saw Mr Treebhoowoon and Mr Moneea near Michaela's room after hearing her screams,

Mr Moneea's statement said: "That is not true -- it's a lie".

Later the court heard how police found a fake ID in Mr Moneea's house, claiming his name was Jean Pierre Ramdanee from the nearby French-owned island of Reunion.

Mr Moneea said that a former employer in London -- where he was working in 1999 despite only holding a tourist visa -- had made the fake ID without his knowledge when he supplied them with a passport photograph. He said he had kept the ID but never used it.

In other testimony, MCIT constable Jean Marie Manoovaloo denied torturing Mr Treebhoowoon prior to his confession by simulated drowning by plunging his head into a pail of water. He said this was "a false and malicious allegation".

Earlier, PC Rajeev Mooruth, who delivered Michaela's body for a post mortem, was questioned on inconsistencies in the timeline recorded in police and forensic lab diaries that evening.

Dr Sunil Kumar Gungadin, who carried out the post-mortem, is to appear as a witness today, when the prosecution is expected to wrap up its case.

Irish Independent

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