Policeman refuses to answer question at McAreavey trial28/05/2012 - 08:44:54
A policeman remained silent when asked what he did with one of the men accused of murdering Michaela McAreavey the morning after the crime.
Avinash Treebhoowoon alleges that police beat a confession out of him in the wake of the honeymooner's death in Mauritius last January.
Constable Seevathian of the Major Crime Investigation Team was questioned by a defence solicitor about what he and his team did with his client in a two-and-a-half hour period between them arriving at Legends Hotel where the 27-year-old was strangled, and Treebhoowoon making a statement in a local police station.
The court fell silent as the officer did not offer an answer.
After a few moments judge Mr Justice Prithviraj Fecknah intervened.
"Let the record show that the witness remains silent to this question," he said.
When further pressed, the officer told defence counsel Sanjeev Teeluckdharry that he was questioning the accused about his movements.
But he repeatedly answered "I can't remember" to a series of other questions posed by the lawyer about his involvement with the accused in the days after the murder of the daughter of Tyrone Gaelic football boss Mickey Harte.
Mrs McAreavey's father-in-law Brendan McAreavey and her sister-in-law Claire McAreavey watched the exchanges from the public gallery.
Her widower John has returned to the island but cannot be in court until he gives evidence as a prosecution witness.
Hotel workers Treebhoowoon (aged 30) and Sandip Moneea (aged 42) deny the premeditated murder of the teacher from Co Tyrone.
Mrs McAreavey was found dead in her hotel room shortly after lunching with her husband John by the pool.
The prosecution claim she returned to her room to fetch biscuits for her tea and caught the accused stealing in her room.
One of the main entrances to the Supreme Court building in Port Louis was blocked off ahead of the start of proceedings after part of a tree fell down in high winds last night.
A jury of nine - six men and three women - is hearing the case.
Almost 50 witnesses are listed to give evidence.
Though most Mauritians speak French Creole as their first language, court proceedings are being heard in English.
The case against Treebhoowoon, from Plaine des Roches, and Moneea, from Petit Raffray, was scheduled to last two weeks but is set to go on for much longer with judge Fecknah having warned that a "lengthy trial" was ahead.
It is already one the most high-profile criminal cases held on the island.
Mrs McAreavey, from Ballygawley, Co Tyrone, was the only daughter of Harte, the GAA boss who has steered his native county to three All-Ireland championships.
The Legends Hotel, which has since been renamed the Lux Hotel, is in the fishing village of Grand Gaube, close to Mauritius's Grand Bay.
Mrs McAreavey taught religious education and the Irish language at St Patrick's Academy in Dungannon, Co Tyrone.
Her Requiem Mass was held close to her family home at St Malachy's chapel in Ballymacilroy - the same church in which she had married a fortnight before she was killed.
Then-Irish president Mary McAleese was among dignitaries at a funeral attended by more than 3,000 people, as the newlywed was buried in her wedding dress.
more stories like this:
- once per day, no spam.