Tuesday 12 December 2017

Pressure mounts for guard's case to be thrown out

Cormac McQuinn in Mauritius

PRESSURE is mounting for the final criminal charges linked to the death of Michaela Mc- Areavey to be thrown out.

The lawyer for Dassen Naraynan, a former Legends hotel security guard, says she will be writing to the Mauritian director of public prosecutions to have charges dismissed.

Mr Naraynan is charged with larceny in connection with the alleged robbery in the McAreaveys' room on the day Michaela died.

But his barrister Poonum Sookun will point out that his supposed co-conspirator who was charged with murder, Sandip Moneea, has now been found not guilty.

Mr Naraynan is the only person other than Michaela and her husband John, whose DNA has been found in the room where she was killed.

Even so, Mr Naraynan was not called as a witness for the prosecution or defence in the murder trial.

The former security guard was originally arrested in connection with Michaela's death but had those charges downgraded to larceny after he confessed to giving Sandip Moneea a key card to access the honeymoon couple's room.

Mr Naraynan has claimed that this confession was extracted at gunpoint by police and denies any involvement in Michaela's death or theft at Legends Hotel. If convicted with the larceny charge he could face three years in prison and/or a 100,000 rupees (€2,735) fine.

However, after Mr Moneea's acquittal at the murder trial the case against Mr Naraynan is also in doubt.

Ms Sookun last night told the Irish Independent her client was "very happy" about the verdict in the murder trial.

Mr Naraynan has claimed that his DNA was only present in the hotel room because he responded to Mr McAreavey's cries for help when he discovered his wife's lifeless body.

Irish Independent

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