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Hotel worker named chief suspect by special police unit in Michaela probe

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Dassen Narayanen in Mauritius yesterday.

Pic Steve Humphreys

23rd June 2011.

Dassen Narayanen in Mauritius yesterday. Pic Steve Humphreys 23rd June 2011.

Dassen Narayanen in Mauritius yesterday. Pic Steve Humphreys 23rd June 2011.

POLICE in Mauritius have reportedly advised the country's DPP to prosecute a former hotel worker in connection with the brutal murder of Irish teacher Michaela McAreavey.

The 27-year-old newlywed from Ballygawley, Co Tyrone, was found strangled to death in the bath of her hotel suite by husband John during their honeymoon in January 2011.

The island's special investigation unit – which was tasked with completing a second probe into Michaela's death – has formally named Dassen Narayanyen as a suspect.

The breakthrough was reported in the respected L'Express newspaper, which is published on the island.

File

It said the DPP will now decide whether to act on the conclusions of the Central Criminal Investigation Department (CCID).

It is understood that the recommendation to prosecute Narayanyen was formally made earlier this year. However, it only emerged during a debate in the Mauritian parliament yesterday.

Sources on the island told the Herald last night that the DPP is currently considering a 50-page file compiled by the police team, which is believed to name Narayanyen as the chief suspect.

Shortlist

"It will be up to the DPP, and the DPP only, as to whether new charges directly related to Michaela's murder are now brought," said a source.

A spokesman for the DPP said he was unable to comment on the matter, while calls to Narayanen's lawyer were not returned last night.

The Herald previously revealed that Narayanen was placed on a shortlist of potential suspects for the murder of Michaela, who is the daughter of Tyrone Gaelic football manager Mickey Harte.

Narayanyen (28) is the only suspect whose DNA was found at the murder scene in the former Legends Hotel. Lawyers for the McAreavey family said it was "incredible" he didn't give evidence at her murder trial.

The nine-person jury was given no opportunity to hear from the former hotel worker – even though his DNA was found in the room and close to Michaela's body.

He was the final suspect arrested in the murder case, but he later had a conspiracy to murder charge reduced to larceny and then struck out earlier this year.

After the acquittal of hotel workers Avinash Treebhoowoon and Sandip Moonea in July last year, the DPP directed the investigation into Michaela's murder be reopened.

The police team kept the progress of the investigation under wraps in a bid to avoid a repeat of the botched job carried out by the first team.

hnews@herald.ie


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