herald

Monday 23 October 2017

Suspect to sue for €3.5m over Michaela probe

John and Michaela McAreavey. Photo: PA
John and Michaela McAreavey. Photo: PA

A SUSPECT in the Michaela McAreavey murder probe is suing the Mauritian state for more than €3.5m.

Former hotel worker Dassen Narayanen claims that he was the victim of serious police brutality while being questioned in connection with the Tyrone woman's death.

The Herald previously revealed that the 28-year-old was placed on a shortlist of potential suspects by a new police team tasked with investigating the shocking murder.

Lawyers for the McAreavey family said it was "incredible" that Narayanen never gave evidence at the murder trial as he is the only suspect whose DNA was found at the murder scene in the former Legend's Hotel.

Now it has emerged that he is seeking compensation of €3.5m from a number of state bodies, including the police.

According to the respected Le Matinal newspaper, Narayanen claims that his life has never been the same since his arrest in January 2011.

He claims that his family was also subject to harassment and that he can fully account for his movements on the day of Michaela's death.

 

INNOCENCE

A well-placed source in Mauritius last night confirmed that Narayanen remains a suspect in the long-running investigation.

As previously revealed, he was named by the island's Central Criminal Investigation Department (CCID) as being in the frame for the school teacher's murder. The country's Director of Public Prosecutions is currently considering whether to press charges.

In an interview in June, Narayanen said that tried to "reanimate Michaela Harte", adding: "I touched her cheeks."

However, he has always protested his innocence and said he "no longer trusts" the police. He admitted bringing towels into the room which he said he gave to Michaela's husband John McAreavey.

The jury was given no opportunity to hear from Narayanen despite the fact his DNA was found close to where Michaela's body was discovered.

He was the final suspect arrested in the murder case, but he later had a conspiracy to murder charge struck out earlier this year.

noconnor@herald.ie

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