Lawyers clash over couple’s private lives

Lawyers clashed at the trial of two men accused of murdering Michaela McAreavey this morning after defence counsel attempted to delve into the private lives of her and her husband.

A legal representative of one of the accused – Avinash Treebhoowoon – repeatedly questioned a police officer about items found in the room where the honeymooner was found in Mauritius.

Sanjeev Teeluckdharry pressed the officer about a laptop, book and personal items belonging to Mrs McAreavey and her husband John.

But prosecution counsel at Port Louis’s criminal court Mehdi Manrakhan objected strongly to the line of questioning, prompting the judge to adjourn proceedings for a period.

Treebhoowoon, 30, and Sandip Moneea, 42, deny the premeditated murder of the 27-year-old teacher from Co Tyrone.

Mrs McAreavey was found dead in her hotel room shortly after lunching with her husband John by the pool.

The prosecution claim she returned to her room to fetch biscuits for her tea and caught the accused stealing in her room.

A jury of nine – six men and three women – is hearing the case and judge Mr Justice Prithviraj Fecknah is presiding.

Almost 50 witnesses are listed to give evidence.

Though most Mauritians speak French Creole as their first tongue, court proceedings are being heard in English.

The case against Treebhoowoon, from Plaine des Roches, and Moneea, from Petit Raffray, was scheduled to last two weeks but is set to go on for much longer with Judge Fecknah yesterday warning that a “lengthy trial” was ahead.

By David Young, Press Association, in Port Louis, Mauritius


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