Two men accused of killing honeymooner walk free
Pair aquitted of murdering Michaela McAreavey
TWO men acquitted of murdering honeymooner Michaela McAreavey in Mauritius expressed joy and relief as their lawyers insisted the real culprit could still be found.
Sandip Moneea and Avinash Treebhoowoon were mobbed by relatives and supporters in chaotic scenes both in and outside the Supreme Court in Port Louis sparked by the unanimous not guilty verdicts.
Amid the celebrations, lawyers Sanjeev Teeluckdharry and Rama Valayden launched a scathing attack on the Mauritian police team that had extracted a so-called murder confession from Treebhoowoon and demanded a fresh probe into the crime.
The tragic newlywed’s widower John was not there to witness the loud and boisterous aftermath of the verdicts, having quickly walked out of court with family members as soon as they were read out.
Afterwards a statement from Mrs McAreavey’s relatives said words could not express their desolation.
The nine jurors took just more than two hours to find both men not guilty of murdering the daughter of Tyrone gaelic football manager Mickey Harte in the island’s luxury Legends hotel last January.
The 27-year-old teacher was found dead in the bathtub of her deluxe room shortly after lunching with her husband at a poolside restaurant.
Treebhoowoon, 32, from Plaine de Roches, worked as a room attendant at Legends while Moneea, 43, from Petit Raffray, was his floor supervisor. They were arrested at the hotel the day after the murder.
Shortly after the trial ended, the Harte and McAreavey families issued a brief statement conveying their bitter disappointment. It read: “After waiting 18 months in search of justice for Michaela and following the endurance of seven harrowing weeks of this trial, there are no words which can describe the sense of devastation and desolation now felt by both families.”