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Police outside the Supreme Court in Port Louis, Mauritius today. Paul Faith/PA Wire

Heated exchanges at Michaela McAreavey murder trial

Day four of the trial saw lawyers argue over a book found in the hotel room where the Tyrone woman was killed.

ARGUMENTS BROKE out in court today at the trial of two men accused of murdering Michaela McAreavey in Mauritius last year as the defence questioned the private life of the deceased.

The 27-year-old Tyrone woman and her husband John were on their honeymoon in Mauritius in January 2011 when the young woman was killed in their hotel room.

The accused Avinash Treebhoowoon, 30, and Sandip Moneea, 42, deny killing McAreavey.

Prosecutors say that the two defendants were stealing from the room when they were disturbed by Michaela and they killed her to prevent her from identifying them.

In court today, 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 pursued by the defence, saying that the contents of the book had no connection with the crime. In heated exchanges, the defence insisted on the importance of that line of inquiry to their case.

The exchanges prompted the judge to temporarily adjourn the hearing. The judge also asked that minors leave the courtroom before the hearing resumed.

After that break, the defence questioned a police officer about items found in the room and removed, including the book. Sergeant Ramasawmy admitted that he had not read the book and said that he gave it back to the widower along with all of the couple’s personal belongings shortly after the police investigation was complete.

The defence also questioned why the contents of a laptop and phones found in the hotel room were not examined by police.

John McAreavey has not been present in the courtroom for this week’s hearings as he has been included in a list of witnesses for the prosecution. His sister Claire and Michaela’s brother Mark were in the courtroom gallery today.

The hearings have been adjourned until Monday.

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Ajai Daby in Mauritius