Widower will not return to give evidence at murder trial

John McAreavey will not return to give evidence at the trial of two men accused of murdering his wife. (Paul Faith/PA)

The widower of honeymooner Michaela McAreavey will not return to the witness box to give additional evidence to the trial of two men accused of the crime, a court in Mauritius was told.

The prosecution had been considering whether to officially apply for John McAreavey to be recalled after he indicated he had made an error in the witness box.

But lawyers for the two men on trial for murdering his 27-year-old bride at the luxury Legends Hotel on the island 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, in view of the stand taken by the defence.”

The Ballygawley school teacher 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.

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 to court.

Mr Manrakhan said he would consider the issue overnight after lawyers for the accused told the judge they would be objecting to any such course of action.

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

The widower sat with his father Brendan and brother-in-law Mark Harte.

Former Legends room attendant Treebhoowoon, 31, from Plaine des Roches, and ex-floor supervisor Moneea, 42, from Petit Raffray, deny murdering St Patrick’s Academy, Dungannon teacher.

David Young/PA


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