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The bumbling cops who blew the case and let Michaela's killer get away

THE bumbling Mauritius police officers who investigated the savage murder of Michaela McAreavey made a number of major mistakes that would never happen in any serious investigation in Ireland.

Shockingly, most of the paradise island's most senior police officers were involved in the botched probe which led to two innocent men being charged with her murder.



Farcical

Ultimately, the jury was unimpressed with the cocksure attitude of Assistant Commissioner Yoosoof Soopun and his high-ranking team of Chief Inspector Luciano Gerard, Inspector Ranjit Jokhoo and Constable Hans Rouwin Seeevathian.

Among the most disturbing aspects of the debacle which led to a farcical court case were:

•Police contaminated the crime scene in Room 1025 -- items were moved at the crime scene, such as biscuits taken from a drawer and placed on a table.

•Not one police officer who gave evidence could say that if more than 60 hours of CCTV footage taken from Legends Hotel had been viewed and analysed and no police report was produced in relation to the footage.

•Officers only identified a German couple shown arguing in CCTV footage the day before it was produced and another German couple who were staying in the room next to 1025 and wanted to give a statement, were not interviewed because they could not speak English.

•Police failed to fingerprint or DNA test the purse they claimed the accused men wanted to steal from and they also did not take DNA samples from other staff at the hotel.

•The investigation team lost track of a crucial witness who let John McAreavey into the room where he found his murdered wife -- it emerged that Rajiv Bhujun was working on a cruise to Dubai when his testimony could have proved crucial.

•Officers did not take statements from other key witnesses, including a nurse and a doctor from the hotel who first attended Michaela, and two shop assistants.

lPolice did not check if the times taken from the sensors on the room doors at the hotel corresponded with 'real time' and CCTV cameras set to 'Arabian standard time' had not been checked to see if they corresponded with real time.

kfoy@herald.ie