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The order of service for Michaela McAreavey's funeral mass in January 2011 Paul Faith/PA Wire

Families issue statement over "attempt to denigrate the memory of Michaela"

The McAreavey and Harte families have said they are “dismissed and dismayed” over recent happenings at the trial in Mauritius.

THE HARTE AND McAreavey families have issued a statement asking people to pray for John McAreavey as the trial of two men accused of murdering his wife in Mauritius continues.

The trial of 30-year-old Avinash Treebhoowoon and 42-year-old Sandip Moneea is entering its fifth day, after heated exhanges in the courtroom on Friday.

Lawyers for the defence questioned police about the discovery of a sex guide in the couple’s room and asked if it contained violent material. Counsel for the prosecution objected strongly to the line of questioning.

In a joint statement the families said that they were “very distressed and dismayed at any attempt to denigrate the memory of Michaela”.

John McAreavey was not present in the courtroom for last week’s hearings as he has been included in a list of witnesses for the prosecution. Members of both families have been present though.

They have thanked “the many family, friends and the wider public” for their support and have asked that “people continue to pray so that John may be granted the necessary strength to get through the very difficult and painful days ahead”.

Michaela McAreavey was killed in her Mauritian hotel room in January 2011 while on her honeymoon with her new husband.

Heated exchanges at Michaela McAreavey murder trial>

Read all of’s  coverage of the trial in Mauritius>