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Avinash Treebhoowoon, right, and Sandip Mooneea, 42, at the Supreme Court in Port Louis this week. Paul Faith/PA Wire/Press Association Image
Michaela McAreavey

Fingerprints not taken from Michaela McAreavey purse, murder trial told

The trial of two men accused of killing the 27-year-old Tyrone woman continues in Port Louis.

THE MICHAELA MCAREAVEY murder trial heard today that fingerprints were not taken from the purse which prosecutors claims one of the murder accused was stealing from when he was interrupted by the young woman at her hotel room.

Separately, a witness told the court that a police officer taking his statement downplayed the fact that timing of his whereabouts on the day of the murder did not tally with other records.

The trial of two local men accused of murdering McAreavey, 27, heard evidence today from former room attendant Ravindradeo Seetohul who had worked at the hotel where she was killed.

The witness said he saw suspect Avinash Treebhoowoon, 30, talking to security guard Dassen Narayanen near the McAreavey’s room a few minutes before the murder. However, the court heard that in his former statements to the police he had claimed that he had seen Narayanen coming from behind him from a different room.

Seetohul told the court that he was working on two rooms on the floor above the McAreaveys’ room, number 1025, on the day of the murder and that he was Treebhoowoon in the couple’s room that day. He said that he had to leave his trolley in front of room 1025 because he could not bring it up the stairs to the rooms he was working on. Leaving the cart, he saw Treebhoowoon speaking to the security guard.

Upon later collecting the cart, Seetohul said he was walking away from room 1025 when he saw the second suspect Sandip Mooneea, 42, coming in the opposite direction.

Pressed by the defence about the timing involved, Seetohul said that he believed the electronic card registers for the rooms “are inaccurate”. He also said that his watch had the wrong time when he filled in a manual register of rooms at work that day. He told the court that when he mentioned this to the detectives from the Major Crimes Investigation team, he was told it did not matter.

Later in today’s hearing, the court heard the cross-examination of Sergeant Mohammed Reaz Donye from the Scene of Crime Office. He said that although 39 items were taken from the couple’s room not all of them were sent for forensic examination.

The officer also said that a black purse found in the room – and which police claim Treebhoowoon was rifling through when he was disturbed by Michaela McAreavey – was not fingerprinted.

The trial continues on Monday.

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Author
Ajai Daby in Mauritius