Michaela murder trial: Defence lawyer withdraws from case

In a dramatic development in the Michaela McAreavey murder trial today, a defence lawyer for one of the two accused said he was withdrawing from the case.

Ravi Rutnah, lawyer for Avinash Treebhoowoon, made his announcement after Chief Inspector Luciano Gerard gave evidence to the prosecution.

During his testimony, the policeman made a series of claims against the lawyer. He said he was late arriving for a meeting with his client two days after the murder and later shared food – fried rice – with police officers.

Mr Rutnah said he had been subject to an attack on his professional integrity.

“As a direct consequence of that, I have decided to withdraw representing accused number one,” he said.

Before leaving, he declared he would be back.

The judge adjourned the trial for the day after the defence tendered a list of additional witnesses on the back of the shock development.

Mr Rutnah is one of the proposed new witnesses.

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