Saturday 24 February 2018

Michaela murder: John McAreavey pleads for privacy

John McAreavey leaving the Supreme Court in Mauritius after the verdict. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Sandip Moneea celebrates with his wife after being found not guilty of murdering Michaela McAreavey
Reshma Treebhoowoon (partially obscured) embraces her husband Avinash Treebhoowoon, outside the Supreme Court in Port Louis. Photo: PA
Not guilty: Avinash Treebhoowoon celebrates with his wife after his acquittal
Defence barrister Rama Valayden speaking after the Verdict was announced
Family and friends of the accused celebrate after the Verdict was announced
Defence barrister Sanjeev Teelucktharry is held aloft by supporters of the accused outside the courtroom in Mauritius

THE husband of murdered honeymooner Michaela McAreavey has appealed for privacy following the acquittal of two hotel workers over his wife's killing.

John McAreavey and family members are expected home in Ireland from Mauritius tomorrow and have insisted they do not wish to discuss the outcome of the eight-week trial.

In a statement on behalf of the McAreavey and Harte families, they thanked all those who have supported them.

"Following yesterday's verdict and our afternoon press update on July 12, both families have indicated that they will not be making any further comment on the trial or their ordeal in Mauritius," the families said.

"They thank people for their support and ask the media to respect their right to privacy as they return home."

Sandip Moneea and Avinash Treebhoowoon were cleared of the newlywed's murder by a jury at the Supreme Court in Port Louis.

The nine jurors took just over two hours to find both men not guilty of murdering the daughter of Tyrone gaelic football manager Mickey Harte in the island's luxury Legends hotel in January last year.

Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the people of Ireland empathise with the families while diplomatic avenues will also be explored regarding calls for a new investigation.

"I'm absolutely heartbroken for the families. This is utter devastation for them and for John McAreavey himself, this has been so difficult," he said.

"I noted the words of the (Mauritian) prime minister (Navinchandra Ramgoolam) that justice would be done and justice would be seen to be done.

"A beautiful young Irish woman was murdered and her husband was out there for the last seven or eight weeks facing the consequences of a trial which has brought nobody to justice."

The men's lawyers have launched a scathing attack on the Mauritian police team that extracted a so-called murder confession from Treebhoowoon and demanded a fresh probe into the crime.

The only reaction from Mrs McAreavey's relatives yesterday said words could not express their desolation.

The 27-year-old teacher was found dead in the bathtub of her deluxe room shortly after lunching with her husband at a poolside restaurant.

Both defendants worked at the hotel at the time .

Press Association

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