Arrest expected in Michaela probe

Speculation is mounting in Mauritius that a former Legends Hotel employee will be arrested in the coming days in relation to the murder of Michaela McAreavey.

It is understood police there have identified five witnesses who they believe can provide incriminating evidence against the individual. Only one of those people has so far given a statement but police believe that his movements are “suspicious”.

One of the witnesses is a German tourist who was staying in a room close to 1025 where the 27-year-old Tyrone woman died in Jan 2011.

According to the local newspaper, Le Matinal, the police asked their German counterparts to interview this individual. He reportedly confirmed it is the man police in Mauritius are investigating.

It is understood Avinash Treebhoowon, one of two men arrested and later acquitted of killing Ms McAreavey, also said he saw the same man near John and Michaela McAreavey’s room just after the murder.

However, at the time, the Major Crime Investigation Team which conducted the first, botched investigation didn’t believe Mr Treebhoowon as they thought he was the real murderer.

Inquiry officers are awaiting the results of newly taken DNA tests to see if they provide any incriminating evidence against the individual.

However, according to Le Matinal, the DNA was not found on Ms McAreavey’s body but on other objects which were in the hotel room where she died.

The new investigation team continued interviews with a number of hotel staff yesterday. On Thursday, they interviewed three members of the hotel’s security team.

Among those who have now been interviewed by detectives is a former hotel bellboy, Rajiv Bhujun, who was one of the first on the scene following the killing.

During the trial of Mr Treebhoowon and Sandip Mooneea earlier this year, the court was told that Mr Bhujun was abroad and out of contact as he was working on a cruise ship.

The former bellhop is not the man police currently have as their prime suspect.

None of the new team of detectives have been drafted from the island’s Major Crime Investigation Team which carried out the initial investigation and was widely panned for the way they presented the case.

The new team is mainly drawn from either the Central Criminal Investigation Department or the country’s drug squad.

In recent weeks, they have been trying to trace the magnetic key card which gave access to room 1025.

Ms McAreavey was the only daughter of Mickey Harte, the GAA boss who has steered Tyrone to three All-Ireland championships.

Ms McAreavey, a tee-total, devout Catholic, was honeymooning at the Legends complex on the north-east coast of the island. She had left her husband at the poolside and planned to return to their room to collect biscuits for a cup of tea.

Her body was discovered a short time later in the bath.


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