Friday 19 January 2018

Michaela murder: New police team to head up investigation in Mauritius

Michael McHugh

A new police team of three senior officers is to carry out a fresh investigation into the murder of honeymooner Michaela McAreavey in Mauritius.

It will be headed by Superintendent Yaswant Callee from the central criminal investigation division, a lawyer for the McAreavey family confirmed.

Dick Ng Sui Wa, who represents Mrs McAreavey's widower John, said: "There will be a new police team set up. They are taking it from zero."

Mrs McAreavey, 27, from Co Tyrone in Northern Ireland, was killed in her room at the Legends Hotel in January last year.

Earlier this month, two hotel workers were found not guilty of her murder.

Three senior officers will be involved in the inquiry, which follows calls for a new trial from politicians in Ireland.

Mauritian prime minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam has given assurances that fresh experts would examine the case during a meeting with the Irish ambassador to the country, Brendan McMahon, in the Mauritian city of Port Louis.

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore, Ireland's deputy prime minister, said concerns of the families and Irish authorities over the publication of photographs of the newlywed as she lay dead in a hotel were made clear.

The ambassador told the PM and the Mauritian foreign minister Arvin Boolell that the McAreavey and Harte families have been deeply distressed and hurt by the publication in the Mauritian Sunday Times.

Appointment of a new police team and a judicial inquiry follows a decision to allow Northern Ireland's attorney general to examine papers from the trial.

Legends hotel workers Sandip Moneea and Avinash Treebhoowoon were cleared of the murder by a jury at the Supreme Court in Port Louis last week.

Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs remains in close contact with the McAreavey and Harte families offering consular support and advice.

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