herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Man acquitted of Michaela murder wants €2m payout

Michaela McAreavey with her husband John Photo: Irish News/PA Wire
Michaela McAreavey with her husband John Photo: Irish News/PA Wire

A man found not guilty of the murder of Michaela McAreavey in Mauritius is seeking damages of almost €2m for his treatment by police and the state, according to reports.

Avinash Treebhoowoon was one of the two hotel employees acquitted of the murder of the Irish woman, who was found strangled in Mauritius in 2011.

He is seeking 75m Mauritian rupees damages (€1.9m) in a legal action in the Supreme Court on the Indian Ocean island for "trauma, humiliation and stress" as a result of his treatment by police and investigators.

Suing

A report in the L'Express newspaper on the island stated he is suing the state and six police officers of different ranks for the way he was treated during the murder investigation.

Michaela (27), daughter of All-Ireland winning Tyrone Gaelic football manager Mickey Harte, was on her honeymoon with her groom John McAreavey when she was murdered.

Her body was found in the bath of the couple's hotel room by her husband.

Mr Treebhoowoon is claiming in court documents that his arrest on the day after her body was found was "not based on a reasonable suspicion and was totally unfair".

He is also alleging the police misled the public by claiming they had obtained DNA evidence and videos from CCTV cameras. He has also alleged he was mistreated while in custody, that police forced him to make a false confession, and that they "brutalised" him.

Previously, he has claimed that his wife suffered a miscarriage because of his arbitrary arrest and he has repeated that claim.

He stated his family was "very humiliated" by what had happened to him.

Following the marathon trial in 2012, Mr Treebhoowoon and co-accused Sandip Moneea were declared not guilty by a unanimous verdict.

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