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Fifth hotel worker held over Michaela murder

POLICE investigating the murder of honeymooner Michaela Harte on the idyllic island of Mauritius have arrested another security worker at the hotel where she was killed.

The fifth member of staff at Legends Hotel to be arrested is Seenarain Mungoo (39), with an address at Petit-Raffray, Mauritius.

He was last night being questioned by investigators in relation to the death of Ms Harte (27), who was found dead in the bathroom of her hotel room by her new husband John McAreavey (26).

Police are probing Mr Mungoo's involvement with the key card used to access her room.

He was initially quizzed during the investigation earlier last week but was released without charge. A police source said: "We believe he could be the last missing link in the puzzle."

If charged, he is expected to be brought into court tomorrow as today is a public holiday.

The revelation came after a fourth man -- Dassen Narainen (26), a security worker at the hotel -- appeared in the District Court of Mapou provisionally charged with conspiracy to commit the murder of the daughter of Mickey Harte.

The suspect was refused bail on police objections and he will have to appear at the same court on January 26.

Mr Narainen was questioned about how the key to Ms Harte's room was "stolen or substituted" from the control room of the security department on January 7, three days before Ms Harte was killed.

Raj Theekoy (33), who is also charged with conspiracy, was remanded in custody until his next court appearance, also scheduled for January 26.

Earlier in the day, prime murder suspects Sandip Moneea (41) and Abinash Treebhoowoon (29) were told that police objected to their release on bail.


Legal counsels Sanjeev Teeluckdharee and Ravi Rutnah, for Mr Treebhoowoon, lodged a motion yesterday requesting permission for their client to make a statement regarding the conditions of detention and his rights as a suspect.

In her ruling, Magistrate Bonomally said: "The court has already delivered its ruling last week concerning police brutality and clear instructions were given to prosecution to look into the matter."

The magistrate added that the statement was "inappropriate" at this "provisional stage" and that the defence could put forward the motion when the case was taken up for argument.

When detectives have completed their inquiry, they will hand over any evidence to the director of public prosecutions, who will decide which charges the suspects should face. The case will then go before a magistrate before it proceeds to a higher court, according to police. This process is likely to take some time.

Meanwhile, Tyrone's first match since Ms Harte's death was postponed last night following a pitch inspection.

Large crowds were expected at Healy Park in Omagh last night to watch Mickey Harte's side play Jordanstown in the Dr McKenna Cup.

The game had been postponed last week, as a mark of respect to the Harte and McAreavey families, but a frozen pitch last night led to its postponement for a second time.

In what was likely to have been a poignant evening, team members were to wear black armbands and lead spectators in a minute's silence.

On Monday, around 3,000 people attended the funeral of the Irish-language teacher and mourners continued to pay their respects yesterday, leaving flowers at her graveside.

The newlywed, from near Ballygawley, Co Tyrone, is thought to have been killed as she disturbed a burglary in her hotel room.

She was buried in her wedding dress at St Malachy's Church outside the Northern Irish village.

Irish Independent