Ex-hotel worker charged by police investigating Michaela McAreavey case
A former hotel employee cleared of the murder of Irish honeymooner Michaela McAreavey has been incarcerated in custody in Mauritius after showing up in court on a theft charge linked with the case.
Sandip Moneea, 52, came to court on the Indian Ocean island on Wednesday on a charge of conspiracy to steal from the couple in relation to the McAreaveys’ hotel room.
Last month, another former hotel employee – ex-security guard Dassen Narayanen – was charged with the same offence.
Moneea, of School Lane, Petit Raffray, and Narayanen are charged with planning with each other to steal a magnetic key card that opened the room where Mrs. McAreavey and her husband stayed to steal from them.
Mrs. McAreavey, a 27-year-old, was choked to death in her room at the Legends Hotel in Mauritius on January 10, 2011.
The teacher, who had wedded her husband John 10 days earlier, was attacked after she came back to her room alone and interrupted a burglary. No one has been arrested for murdering the daughter of Gaelic football manager Mickey Harte.
Narayanen, a 37-year-old, from Royal Road, Plaine des Papayes, was taken in custody in March. Moneea and another man were both found not guilty of Mrs. McAreavey’s murder after a big trial on the holiday island in the summer of 2012.
He has always denied doing wrong to Moneea and his co-accused in the murder trial, Avinash Treebhoowoon, were employed as cleaners in the hotel at the time of the murder.
Narayanen, who has denied misconduct, has been admitted to the hospital several times for mental health concerns during his detention and his lawyer has criticized the way he has been handled by police.
Barrister Vikash Teeluckdharry corresponded with the prime minister of Mauritius, Pravind Jugnauth, on Tuesday, stating 10 specific concerns about his client’s imprisonment.
The letter, seen by the PA news agency, said: “I fervently call for your intervention in order to better protect the integrity of the criminal procedure in Mauritius, particularly the police procedures in the absence of the modern safeguards, which are available in more advanced countries such as Britain.”
Mr. Teeluckdharry stated further concerns about the execution of the overall investigation. He said he would be forwarding a copy of the letter to Northern Ireland’s Justice Minister, Naomi Long.
Police in Mauritius have previously denied mistreating Narayanen in custody.