herald

Monday 21 August 2017

Michaela trial pair may face new case TRAGIC: Michaela McAreavey

THE two men acquitted of Michaela McAreavey's murder face the prospect of a retrial under radical new measures passed by the government in Mauritius.

The acquittal of Avinash Treebhoowoon and Sandip Moonea may now be reviewed by the island's DPP.

A change to the country's laws extends the DPP's powers so that his office can review past sentences if fresh evidence is thrown up.

The two hotel workers must now be on the alert for the prospect of being questioned as part of the new investigation into the murder of the Tyrone woman.

Documents obtained by the Herald quote a senior official in the DPP's office saying the acquittals could be reviewed.

"In the case of Harte – I am just using this as an example – these two people have been acquitted but if there is new DNA evidence that could not have been made available then, is available now and is relevant in the context of whether these people are guilty or not, this is sufficient ground to ask for a review of that acquittal," said Vinod Rammaya, acting senior state counsel.

The development is thought to have been communicated to the Harte and the McAreavey families by their acting lawyer on the island, Dick Ng Sui Wa.

"This does mean that the two men acquitted can be part of a new investigation or subsequent trial," Mr Ng Sui Wa said.

After the acquittal of Treebhoowoon and Moonea in July last year, the DPP directed that the investigation into Michaela's murder be reopened.

However despite the new investigation team naming former hotel worker Dassen Narayanen as a new suspect, he has not yet been arrested.

Michaela (27), the only daughter of Tyrone GAA boss Mickey Harte, was found dead in her room at the former Legends Hotel on January 10 2012.

noconnor@herald.ie

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