Thursday 22 February 2018

Husband faces recall after he corrected evidence

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

HEARTBROKEN John McAreavey will learn today if he is to be called back into the witness box in the trial of two men accused of the honeymoon murder of his wife.

The widower was to have completed his testimony on Wednesday evening but his lawyer Dick Su Wa yesterday asked the court if he could correct an error in John's evidence.

Now the prosecution must lodge a formal motion to have him return to change his testimony if it wants the correction included, while defence lawyers have already indicated that they would oppose such a move.

Mr Su Wa's intervention yesterday came shortly after John passed him a note from his seat in the public gallery.

The prosecution has claimed that Michaela was murdered by hotel workers Sandip Moneea and Avinash Treebhoowoon when she returned to the room and found them stealing.

In emotional testimony on Wednesday, John spoke of his regret that he had not been the one to return to the room to collect a Kit-Kat bar for his wife.

But he said Michaela told him not to go because he had already collected biscuits from the room for her the night before.

This led defence lawyer Rama Valayden to confront John with computer records showing just one recorded use of the key card that evening, presumably when the couple returned to the room.


John said there must have been a problem with the hotel's system, adding: "I definitely returned to the room."

Yesterday, Mr Su Wa, who holds a "watching brief" for John during the murder trial, said his client wanted to inform the court he had got the date wrong and that the incident actually happened two nights before Michaela was killed on January 10, 2011.

He said: "In fact, it was not on January 9, it was the 8th. That's the reason it was not borne out in the room readings."

Defence lawyer Sanjeev Teeluckdharry pointed out that Mr Su Wa was not allowed to submit evidence to the court and Judge Prithviraj Fekna said that if the information was to be included as evidence the prosecution would need to make a formal motion to court.

And John would possibly have to reappear as a witness.

Chief prosecutor Mehdi Manrakhan said he would consider the statement overnight before deciding whether to proceed with a motion today.

Irish Independent

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