Michaela murder trial: No DNA from accused found at murder scene or on her body
THERE was uproar at the Michaela McAreavey murder trial as lawyers tried to put into evidence a sex book found in the couple’s room.The trial judge was forced to intervene and brand the line of questioning inappropriate.
Michaela's family endured a torturous morning as lawyers attempted to cast doubt over the prosecution’s case.
A defence lawyer told the court that among the personal items handed back to Michaela's husband John was a book called The Ultimate Sex Guide and made reference to a particular chapter in the book.
The judge was forced to briefly adjourn.
But prosecution counsel at Port Louis's criminal court Mehdi Manrakhan objected strongly to the line of questioning, prompting the judge to adjourn proceedings for a period.
Michaela's brother, Mark Harte sat calmly in the court room alongside John's father Brendan and his sister Claire as the defence tried to introduce the sex slurs.
John McAreavey was not in court as he will be a witness later in the trial.
When the court returned, Judge Prithviraj Fecknah told the lawyers to put their emotions aside.
He then banned the defence from following that line of questioning.
"I won't accept questions pertaining to the content of the book now," he said.
The court heard that the policeman knew nothing about the contents of the book.
"My client, he has not read this book," his lawyers said.
Among the other items seized by police in the aftermath of Michaela's death were two iPhones and a laptop.
These were examined by forensic technicians and the police's IT unit before being given back to Michaela's husband.
Michaela was found dead in her hotel room shortly after lunching with her husband John by the pool in January 2010.
The prosecution claim she returned to her room to fetch biscuits for her tea and caught the accused stealing in her room.
A jury of nine -- six men and three women -- is hearing the case and judge Mr Justice Prithviraj Fecknah is presiding.
Almost 50 witnesses are listed to give evidence.
Though most Mauritians speak French Creole as their first tongue, court proceedings are being heard in English.
The case against Treebhoowoon, from Plaine des Roches, and Moneea, from Petit Raffray, was scheduled to last two weeks but is set to go on for much longer with Judge Fecknah yesterday warning that a "lengthy trial" was ahead.
It is already one the most high-profile criminal cases ever held on the island.
Mrs McAreavey, from Ballygawley, Co Tyrone, was the only daughter of Mickey Harte, the GAA boss who steered his native county to three All-Ireland football championships.