Sunday 18 March 2018

Michaela trial: Policeman confronted over beating claim

Avinash Treebhoowoon denies the murder of Michaela McAreavey
Constable Seevathian after giving evidence at the Supreme Court in Port Louis, Mauritius on day five of the trial.

David Young

A POLICEMAN has been confronted with claims that he beat and threatened one of the men accused of murdering Michaela McAreavey.

Avinash Treebhoowoon confessed to strangling the Co Tyrone teacher in the days after she was strangled in Mauritius but has since insisted police forced him to make an admission statement.

The trial has already heard that the hotel worker has lodged a formal complaint with court authorities that he was beaten, stripped, had his head held under water and that officers tried to suffocate him with a towel during interrogation.

One of the policemen who arrested the suspect at the Legends Hotel, where the honeymooner was found dead, and escorted him on a number of occasions over the next three days was today read what the accused claims the officer said to him in the back of a police van.

Sanjeev Teeluckdharry, representing Treebhoowoon, challenged Constable Hans Rouwan Seevathian that he warned his client: "If you don't do what I tell you, I will beat you up again and you know how it's going to be. Listen well, you keep that in your mind."

But the officer rejected the allegation outright.

"No my lord," he told the judge.

"I never said those words to the accused party my lord."

Treebhoowoon was taken by police to the room where the 27-year-old newlywed was found dead two days after the murder to take part in a reconstruction.

While he confessed to police he killed her when she walked into the room and caught him stealing red handed, he now denies the allegation - insisting the admission was extracted by means of police brutality.

Press Association

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