herald

Monday 20 August 2018

Star witness set to testify in Michaela murder case

POLICE investigating the murder of Michaela McAreavey believe that the case's "star witness" could still testify at next week's preliminary hearing.

So far 29 witnesses have been called forward for cross-examination at a Mauritian court this month but there is no mention of hotel room cleaner Raj Theekoy, who allegedly saw Michaela's murderers leave her honeymoon suite.

However, a detective at the Mauritian Crime Investigation Team told the Herald today that Theekoy (31) could be added to the list of witnesses participating in the pre-trial at any point.

Tragedy

"He may not have been named yet but the prosecution can still ask for his presence next week, he can be added to the list at any point in time and I believe he will," Detective Inspector Ranjit Jokhoo explained.

Michaela (27) was found strangled in the bathtub of the room she shared with new husband John McAreavey (30) on January 10.

Theekoy, who worked in the Legends Hotel in Grand Gaube where the incident took place, was initially arrested in connection with the tragedy.

His cleaning trolley was found outside the couple's room and police believed he had been keeping watch for Michaela's alleged murderers, hotel attendant Avinash Treebhowoon (29) and floor supervisor Sandip Mooneea (41).

However, he maintained his innocence and his charges were eventually dropped as it was believed his testimony could prove crucial in bringing Michaela's killers to justice.

Widower John McAreavey has been listed to testify at the hearing, but it is understood that he won't be flying over to Mauritius until the actual trial begins.

Until now, prosecutors have said that he may not have to appear in court.

However, the defence suggested this week that they would insist on his presence.

hnews@herald.ie

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