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I'm man on hotel CCTV, says chef

A GERMAN chef has said he is willing to give evidence to back up claims that the couple shown arguing in CCTV footage at the Mauritius hotel where Michaela McAreavey was murdered were not the newlyweds.

Harald Hoyer, from Munich, has confirmed that he is the man pictured in the CCTV footage, which was introduced in court at the trial of the two men accused of Michaela's murder last week.

Lawyers defending room attendant Avinash Treebhoowoon (31) and floor supervisor Sandip Moneea (42) have maintained that the couple shown in the footage was the McAreaveys and that the video contradicts John McAreavey's account of his movements on the day that his wife was murdered.

The footage, which was played to a packed Supreme Court in the island's capital Port Louis on Friday, shows a couple arriving at the reception desk in the hotel and speaking with staff for more than two minutes. It was filmed at 3pm, about 15 minutes after the time that the prosecution claims Michaela was murdered.

Speaking with the This Week programme on RTE Radio yesterday, Mr Hoyer confirmed that the couple shown in the CCTV footage was himself and his ex-girlfriend. He said that he was willing to travel to Mauritius to give evidence, if necessary.

In court last week, assistant commissioner Yoosoof Soopun named Mr Hoyer and his ex-girlfriend Savarese Graziella as the holidaymakers on the tape and produced documentation to back up his claim.

The former couple were staying in a room across from the McAreaveys and checked out of the hotel on the day after the murder.

Now, Mr Hoyer has said that he will return to the island if required.

"If I could definitely help the husband of Michaela, I would do that, yes," he said.