herald

Friday 17 August 2018

Island cops foil 'escape' bid in Michaela case

THE ALLEGED murderer of new bride Michaela McAreavey had hidden a fake ID to escape from justice, Mauritian police believe.

Sandip Mooneea (41), who worked as a floor supervisor in the Legends Hotel where Michaela was strangled, was denied bail this week after it emerged he was in possession of a false French ID card.

Chief inspector Luciano Gerard told the Mapou District Court that he believed Mooneea's intention might have been to flee the Indian Ocean island upon his release.

It was also discovered that the alleged killer had spent six years in the UK illegally, having entered in the country with a six-month visa.

Mr Gerard told the court he objected to Mooneea's release from prison for four different reasons. He said the suspect's safety could be at risk if he was let out, or he could tamper with evidence, get in contact with witnesses and finally run away. Meanwhile, Mauritian police revealed that the key to the honeymoon suite that Michaela and her husband John McAreavey shared has yet to be uncovered.

Security officer Dassen Narayanen (26) has confessed to stealing one of the keys to the suite and passing it on to Michaela's attackers.

Strangled

Hotel attendant Avinash Treebhowoon (29) has admitted that Michaela caught him stealing the couple's belongings alongside Mooneea.

He claimed that they panicked and attacked her, and that he held her feet while Mooneea strangled her before they placed her in the bathtub in a bid to disguise the murder.

Treebhowoon has been charged with murder. The fourth suspect is Raj Theekoy (33), who is thought to have kept watch outside the room. He was denied bail yesterday.

hnews@herald.ie

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