Trial adjourned as lawyer questions officer about McAreavey personal items25/05/2012 - 09:01:41
Lawyers clashed this morning at the trial of two men accused of murdering Michaela McAreavey after defence counsel attempted to delve into the private lives of her and her husband.
A legal representative of one of the accused, Avinash Treebhoowoon, repeatedly questioned a police officer about items found in the room where the honeymooner was found in Mauritius.
Sanjeev Teeluckdharry pressed the officer about a laptop, book and personal items belonging to Mrs McAreavey and her husband John.
But prosecution counsel at Port Louis's criminal court Mehdi Manrakhan objected strongly to the line of questioning, prompting the judge to adjourn proceedings for a period.
Treebhoowoon (aged 30) and Sandip Moneea (aged 42) both deny the premeditated murder of the 27-year-old 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.
A jury of nine, six men and three women, is hearing the case and judge Mr Justice Prithviraj Fecknah is presiding.
Almost 50 witnesses are listed to give evidence.
Though most Mauritians speak French Creole as their first tongue, 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 yesterday warning 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 Mickey Harte, the GAA boss who 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 Irish 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.
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