herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

John will not face witness box again for Michaela trial

WIDOWER John McAreavey will not return to the witness box to give extra evidence in the trial of two men accused of murdering his bride Michaela, the Mauritius court was told.

The prosecution had been considering whether to apply for John to be recalled after he indicated he had made an error.

But lawyers for the two men on trial for murdering his 27-year-old bride at the luxury Legends Hotel indicated they would have objected to such a move.

Chief prosecutor Mehdi Manrakhan told the court this morning he would not be making the application.

He said: "There will be no motion to have him recalled."

The daughter of Tyrone Gaelic football boss Mickey Harte was found strangled in her room in January last year.

The prosecution claims she was murdered by Legends workers Sandip Moneea and Avinash Treebhoowoon when she returned to the room to fetch some biscuits and found them stealing.

In emotional evidence on Wednesday, Mr McAreavey said he offered to get the biscuits for his wife but she told him not to worry because he had done it for her the night before.

Challenged

But he was challenged by defence lawyer Rama Valayden, representing Moneea, who said electronic readings of entries to the room that evening did not tally with his account.

Yesterday Mr McAreavey's lawyer Dick Ng Sui Wa said his client wanted to inform the court that he had got the date wrong and the incident happened two days before the January 10 murder.

"In fact, it was not on January 9, 2011, it was on the 8th and that's the reason it was not borne out in the room readings," he said.

Judge Mr Justice Prithviraj Fecknah said that if he wanted the information to be included as formal evidence, then the prosecution would need to make an official motion.

Mr Manrakhan said he would consider the issue overnight after lawyers for the accused said they would object.

Mr McAreavey (27) was in the Supreme Court in Port Louis today as the prosecutor made the brief announcement.

Treebhoowoon (31) and Moneea ( 42) deny murder.

hnews@herald.ie

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