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Monday, July 16, 2012
The newspaper which published photographs of Michaela McAreavey’s body defended the move by saying the public had a "perfectly legitimate right" to see the crime scene.
In an editorial accompanying the publication of the pictures, the newspaper said it was in the public interest to publish them so that the public had an "exact picture of the crime scene" and "and the condition in which the corpse was found".
Under the headline: ‘Who Killed Michaela Harte? Who tore the dress of Michaela Harte?’, the editorial, which appears in French, goes on to offer a defence for its decision to publish 11 images of the crime scene across two pages of the newspaper.
"After the acquittal of Avinash Treebhoowon and Sandip Mooneea, the Mauritian police has a lot on its plate because it will have to re-open the inquest dossier in order to find the real killer of Michaela Harte.
"This week, we are publishing several photos of the corpse of the victim so that our readers can have an exact picture of the crime scene in Room 1025.
"You will see the corpse of Michaela Harte lying on her back. Her skirt was destroyed / torn either by the presumed killer or by someone else who wanted to interfere with the evidence," it read.
The newspaper goes on to say that, as the murder had touched every Mauritian, the public there had a "perfectly legitimate right" to see images of the crime scene.
"The tragic circumstances in which Michaela Harte died touches every Mauritian. The public has a perfectly legitimate right to be given an insight into the crime scene and the condition in which the corpse was found in Room 1025. The photos were submitted to members of the jury. We will publish these photos in the public interest. The Mauritian public has a right to know in what state the body of the victim was discovered."
Despite showing images of the room where she and her husband, John, were staying, the bath where she was strangled, the hotel entrance, and the door to the couples’ hotel room, the editorial focuses almost exclusively on what it views as a tear in the sarong worn by Michaela in the picture.
"It is evident from the dossier submitted to the members of the jury that the skirt was never sent to the Forensic Scientist at Cellmark in England to carry out DNA testing to trace the murderer. There are indices / factors which can be very useful in any bid to reopen the police investigation, with greater professionalism ... After an analysis of the photos, we arrived at the conclusion that the skirt of Michaela Harte was torn. By whom?"
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