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Monday 11 December 2017

Editor faces a year in jail if convicted of 'morality breach'

Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

THE editor of a Mauritian newspaper that published pictures of Michaela McAreavey's dead body is facing up to a year in prison if convicted of offences against morality.

Yesterday Imraan Hosany, who edits the Mauritian 'Sunday Times', said that he would co-operate with a police investigation into the incident.

However, he stopped short of agreeing to reveal the source of the images to investigating officers in a statement to the Irish Independent.

It came after the McAreavey and Harte families urged the paper, which has no connection to any British or Irish organisation, to identify the source of the pictures.

They also rejected an apology by Mr Hosany and said the hurt the editor and the newspaper had caused could "not be undone".

A spokesperson for the Mauritian police confirmed that Mr Hosany has helped with inquiries so far.

The paper's offices were raided by police after the pictures were published.

Mr Hosany could be charged with outrage against public and religious morality -- a criminal charge in Mauritius.

A person found guilty of the offence can receive up to a year in prison and a fine of up to 10,000 rupees (€267) under Mauritian law.

Yesterday Mr Hosany said that his paper's "main concern" was that the killer was found and brought to justice. In what he said was "our final statement" he repeated that there was no intention to hurt the McAreavey and Harte families.

"The Mauritian people want that justice be done in this case as soon as possible," he concluded.

Mr Hosany did not return phone calls or emails asking whether he would reveal the source of the 12 black and white pictures published by the paper.

Jimmy Jean-Louis, a reporter with the paper, said the matter was in the hands of lawyers but "everything that needs to" would come out in legal "exposition".

He would not comment further.

Irish Independent

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