Sunday 25 February 2018

Michaela murder police wiped CCTV clues in search for killer

John and Michaela McAreavey
John and Michaela McAreavey
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

POLICE involved in the bungled investigation into the murder of Michaela McAreavey inadvertently deleted hours of CCTV footage.

According to 'Murder In Paradise', a special investigation by journalist Donal MacIntyre, Mauritian officers deleted up to 90pc of the footage handed to them.

The programme revealed that the police officers who were reviewing the footage from the luxury Legends Hotel, where Ms McAreavey was murdered, were at the same time erasing it.

This was because the officers did not know how to use the tape machines properly.

The programme has been scheduled to be shown at 9pm this Sunday on CBS Reality.

It says the prosecution was unable to pass CCTV footage to the defence during the trial of innocent murder suspects Sandip Moonea and Avinash Treebhoowoon, because it had been destroyed.

The mistake was one of a number of errors highlighted by the investigative team, who spent six months on the island to make the programme.

The 27-year-old Irish teacher was found dead in January 2011 in her hotel room on the paradise island; she had been on her honeymoon.

The trial, which took place last year, was eventually shown CCTV footage of a couple arguing on the day of the murder.

However, it emerged that the footage was not of Michaela and her husband John, but of a German couple.

LARCENY

A new investigation into the murder has been launched by police in Mauritius with the help of officers from the PSNI.

It is understood that the country's Director of Public Prosecutions has been passed a file suggesting that Dassen Narayanen, a former security guard at the hotel, has a case to answer.

In a charge linked to the murder case, he was accused of conspiracy to commit larceny but the charges were eventually dropped.

His DNA was found in the room as well as on a dummy keycard that was used to open the door. However, he has always denied any role in the murder.

Mr Narayanen, who was also interviewed in the new documentary, has admitted his DNA might be on Ms McAreavey's body because he placed his hands on her cheeks while he was in her room.

Detectives may request that the body of Ms McAreavey be exhumed to see if any fresh evidence can be obtained. Ms McAreavey's father, Tyrone manager Mickey Harte, said he did not wish to comment on the investigation yesterday.

There was no one available to comment from the Mauritian police force last night.

Irish Independent

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