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Saturday 24 February 2018

Michaela murder: Mauritian prime minister asks Gardai to assist in investigation

Michaela McAreavey's father Mickey Harte and brothers Matthew, left, and Michael speaking to reporters outside their family home near Ballygawley at the time of her death
John McAreavey's sister Claire and their father Brendan
Michaela taking part in the Rose of Tralee
Line Barracks police station in Port Louis yesterday
The 'Sunday Times' newspaper offices in Port Louis
Brendan McMahon (left) is to express a 'strong protest while Eamon Gilmore said an urgent examination of the case was needed

Michael McHugh

THE Mauritian prime minister is writing to Gardai and police in Northern Ireland asking them to assist detectives investigating the murder of honeymooner Michaela McAreavey.

Dr Navin Ramgoolam said a judicial inquiry would be set up to re-examine the case.

Northern Ireland deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has called for police from both sides of the Irish border to help.

He is due to meet the Mauritian high commissioner on Thursday.

Dr Ramgoolam told the BBC: "The sooner they come the better. I am writing to them today."

Mr McGuinness said he would ask that the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and Irish police be invited to the island to jointly review the investigation into the murder.

He also wants to formally complain about "obscene photographs" of the crime scene published in a Mauritian paper.

Mrs McAreavey, 27, from County Tyrone, was killed at the Legends hotel on the island in 2011.

She was on her honeymoon having married John McAreavey less than two weeks earlier.

Last week, two former workers at the hotel were found not guilty of her murder.

Pictures of the young teacher lying dead in her room were published by the Mauritian Sunday Times newspaper at the weekend, causing outrage in Ireland.

Mr McGuinness said he had spoken to the PSNI about potential involvement and added they were willing but could only do so following an invitation from the Mauritian authorities.

He said a dark cloud hung over the island and he personally would not visit it.

"The people of Ireland feel let down by the Mauritian judicial system," he said.

"I believe that John McAreavey, Mickey Harte and Marian Harte (Michaela`s parents) and their families have been disgracefully treated by the investigation, by the court proceedings and the way in which this investigation was conducted."

Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Mr McGuinness said the actions of the paper in publishing the photographs were "callous and unjustifiable".

The director general of the Mauritian newspaper, Imran Hosany, has apologised.

He said the motive was not sensationalism. Instead, it was "to recall that such a heinous crime remained unpunished".

The Harte and McAreavey families said the hurt caused over the past 48 hours cannot be undone.

"As an editor he made a calculated decision to use photographs and images that no responsible media outlet would have touched," they said.

"He further exacerbated his actions by printing an inexcusable editorial in a feeble attempt to justify what was wholly unjustifiable."

They said as there is an on going police investigation by the Mauritian authorities as to how these distressing crime scene photographs found their way into the hands of this newspaper, if as this man claims, he is fully co-operating with the police, then the best and most obvious form of apology would be to tell them how his newspaper came into receipt of these photographs.

Irish Independent

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