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Court hears Michaela McAreavey's husband marked 'suspect' in police register

An officer questioned on day six of the murder trial said he didn’t know why John McAreavey was described as a suspect in the record.

Police Inspector Nuccheddy after giving evidence today.
Police Inspector Nuccheddy after giving evidence today.
Image: Paul Faith/PA Wire

THE TRIAL OF TWO men for the murder of Michaela McAreavey in Mauritius has heard that a police register mentions her husband John McAreavey as an “accused”.

The entry was read in court today on day six of the trial. Two men accused of killing McAreavey at the hotel where she and her husband were spending their honeymoon in January 2011 deny killing the Tyrone woman.

The defence team continued their cross-examinations of the prosecution’s witnesses today.

The testimony of Police Inspector Sunilduth Nuccheddy of Grand Gaube station revealed that it was not clear what stand the police took vis à vis John McAreavey.

The officers of the police station in Grand Gaube, as well as those of the Criminal Investigation Division of Piton were responsible for the initial part of the police investigation before the members of the Major Crimes Investigation Team (MCIT) took things in hand.

Asked by Counsel Sanjeev Teeluckdharry, lawyer for the defendant Avinash Treebhoowon, if the McAreavey was initially treated as a suspect in connection with the investigation, the police officer solemnly affirmed no. But he revised his affirmation when called to read the diary book where McAreavey was termed as “accused”. The entry also said that a police sentry was placed over him.

Faced with these entries made in the police register, Nuccheddy said he did not know why the word “suspect” and “accused” were used.

The presiding judge called the lawyer to order at this point, saying that “the question was addressed to the wrong person” because the witness said he had not written these entries in the diary book.

Nuccheddy said he was one of the first officers to visit the crime scene after a security guard at the Legends hotel reported “something wrong” in the hotel. He also said that John McAreavey had used a “helpline for victims” posted in the hotel.

The defence lawyer also wanted to know if the occupants of the adjoining rooms were surveyed. The witness replied that it had indeed had a conversation with tourists who stayed in room 1023, but did not obtain information that might help. The lawyer then asked if the police have reviewed the list of customers who “prematurely” left the hotel the day or the day after the murder.

“Personally I did not and I do not know whether other investigators have done it,” replied the policeman.

Rama Valayden, lawyer for the second defendant Sandip Moneea, continued the cross-examination of Constable Robin Sevatian, former member of the Major Crimes Investigation Team (MCIT). He questioned the police officer about the episode where he went to get the objects in IT department.

Responding to questions from Teeluckdharry, the officer said he escorted Treebhoowoon in Grand Gaube for the reconstruction of events. Initially, the constable said he could not remember if he was in the same vehicle as the accused for that reconstruction on 13 January 2011.

The lawyer confronted Sevatian with Treebhoowoon’s claims that Sevatian threatened to beat him, but the accusations were rejected by the police officer.

Forensic scientist in Michaela trial says defendants’ DNA not found at scene >

About the author:

Ajai Daby in Mauritius

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