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Sandip Mooneea, (left) and Avinash Treebhoowoon at the Supreme Court in Port Louis, Mauritius today. Paul Faith/PA Wire
Michaela McAreavey

Michaela McAreavey accused says his confession was forced by police brutality

Today was the third day of the murder trial of two hotel workers accused of killing the Tyrone woman during her honeymoon.

THE TRIAL OF TWO men accused of murdering Tyrone woman Michaela McAreavey in Mauritius last year has heard that one of the defendants was assaulted by police during questioning.

Avinash Treebhoowoon had confessed to participating in the killing, but later retracted the confession, saying it was made under duress and was the result of police brutality.

On day three of the trial in Port Louis today, the court heard that he was beaten up by the police and was suffocated with a towel.

The court also heard claims of crime scene contamination.

Police constable Satish Sharma Jeeworth of the Scene of Crime Office (SOCO) admitted that officers on the crime scene did not wear protective shoes. Jeewooth, a police photographer, gave evidence earlier at the trial about taking photos at the crimes scene. He was accused yesterday of failing to photograph key evidence at the scene.

Answering questions from the lawyer for the defendant Sandip Moneea, Jeewooth admitted that the officers concerned were not wearing protective shoes on 13 January, 2011 during an exercise to reconstruct events at the crime scene.

Questioned by lawyer Sanjeev Teeluckdharry, who represents defendant Avinash Treebhoowon, the officer said that he saw no blood in room 1025, but added that the room was “messy”.

Prosecutors claim that Michaela McAreavey had returned to the hotel room to get biscuits to have with tea but interrupted the defendants as they were stealing items in the room. The prosecution claims the defendants killed her to prevent her identifying them.

Both of the accused deny killing McAreavey.

Ajai Daby in Mauritius