Category: Asset 8News & Views

Michaela murder trial hears of delay

May 30, 2012

By Staff Reporter

Michaela and John on their wedding day.

A hotel worker who alleges he saw the two men accused of murdering the daughter of Tyrone GAA boss Mickey Harte leave the crime scene, did not immediately inform police, it has emerged during the murder trial now underway on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius.

Michaela McAreavey was found strangled in her hotel room in the luxury Legends Hotel in Mauritius in January 2011. She had left her husband John during lunch to go back to their room for biscuits but did not return. The newly weds were on their honeymoon at the time.

Raj Theekoy, a one-time suspect in the case, made a signed statement to investigating officers the day after the school teacher was found strangled in the hotel room.

He is now a witness against fellow Legends employees Avinash Treebhoowoon, 30, and Sandip Moneea, 42, who both deny murdering Mrs. McAreavey.

Charges were dropped against Mr. Theekoy, who was originally charged with conspiracy to murder.

In a further development in the case, which begun last week, a forensic expert has told the court in Port Louis that there was no DNA from the two men accused of the murder found on Michaela McAreavey’s body, or at the crime scene.

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Susan Woodroffe from Cellmark Forensic Services told the trial that their genetic material was not identified on a range of swabs.

Ms. Woodroffe was also asked to examine whether the DNA of defendants Avinash Treebhoowoon and Sandip Moneea, and two other

original suspects in the case – fellow Legends employees

Raj Theekoy and Dassen Naraynen – was present on the samples.

While Woodroffe found no matches from the four men on swabs taken from the victim’s body, she did, however, identify a potential match with Mr. Naraynen on a key card for the room.

In relation to samples taken from Mrs. McAreavey’s body, the forensic expert told the criminal court in Port Louis: “There is no specific indication that any of Raj Theekoy, Sandip Moneea, Avinash Treebhoowoon or Dassen Naraynen have contributed to the results obtained.”

The prosecution alleges that Mrs. McAreavey had returned to her room and caught the accused stealing.


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