Mauritius honeymoon murder trial to start
21 May 2012, 16:19
Port Louis - Two hotel employees accused of murdering the daughter of
one of Ireland's leading sports personalities while she honeymooned on
the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius will go on trial on Tuesday.
Treebhowoon, 29, and Sandip Mooneea, 41, will face trial for the
January 2011 murder of schoolteacher Michaela McAreavey, the daughter of
Tyrone Gaelic football boss Mickey Harte, who was strangled in her
Police believe McAreavey, 27, was strangled after she
stumbled in on a burglary upon returning to her room at the four-star
Legends resort in the fishing village of Grande Gaube in the north of
Police said hotel key card records show someone else
had used a card to gain access to the room two minutes before McAreavey
Her killers then placed the body in the bath and turned the taps on to make it look as if the victim had drowned.
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte will not attend the trial.
"The father won't be coming," Dick Ng Sui Wa, a lawyer representing the McAreavey-Harte family, told AFP.
Gaelic football is the most popular sport in Ireland and many players and managers are celebrities.
John McAreavey, who is expected to give evidence at the trial, arrived
on Friday evening on the island, accompanied by his father, sister and
brother-in-law and was escorted straight from the airport to a private
Local media said the family was being looked after by the diocese of Port Louis.
A jury will be picked on Tuesday and will decide on the guilt or innocence of Treebhowoon and Mooneea.
two suspects, who both worked at Legends where McAreavey was staying,
could be jailed for 60 years if found guilty. The trial is scheduled to
last until 01 June.
Legends resort is popular with honeymooners
and was popular with Irish newlyweds in particular, who voted it number
one honeymoon destination the year before McAreavey's murder.
a volcanic island surrounded by coral reefs and lagoons, that lies 10
000km from Ireland, is best known for top-end tourism and as a honeymoon
destination. It welcomes nearly one million tourists a year.
sector is an important pillar of the economy, employing, directly or
indirectly around 100 000 people in the island nation, which has one of
the highest per capita incomes of the African continent.