New police team to carry on Michaela investigation as judicial inquiry planned

Mauritius intends to set up a judicial inquiry to examine the Michaela McAreavey murder and a new police team is to be appointed to carry on the investigation.

Irish ambassador to Mauritius, Brendan McMahon, met the island’s prime minister and foreign affairs minister, Navinchandra Ramgoolam and Arvin Boolell, yesterday.

During the meeting Mr Ramgoolam said it was his intention to establish a judicial enquiry to see what further actions can be taken to bring the perpetrators to justice in accordance with Mauritian law.

Meanwhile, the Mauritian equivalent of the National Union of Journalists has defended the newspaper editor who published pictures of Mrs McAreavey’s body.

L’Union syndicale des employés de presse (USEP) said it was not the first time pictures of footage from a a murder scene or traffic accident had made Mauritius headlines.

Imran Hosany, editor of the Mauritian Sunday Times, collapsed on Thursday as he was appearing in court charged with outraging public decency by publishing the front-page image of the 27-year-old Tyrone woman’s body and a two-page spread inside of close-up images of her injuries and the crime scene at the island’s Legends Hotel.

“The decision to publish such photos is the prerogative of the concerned newspaper editors,” USEP said. “International news, including the local press ... also shows pictures of murder, bloodied corpses of people killed or injured in conflict areas, among others.”

USEP said although such pictures disturb “some sensitivities”, until now the media had not worried about publishing them.

The journalists’ union also criticised the police raid on the office of the Sunday Times and the seizure of computers as it is said it believed that constituted an “unacceptable violation of press freedom”.

Meanwhile, Mrs McAreavey’s husband John, along with her father, Tyrone manager Mickey Harte and members of their families, made a public appearance at the Michaela Foundation Girls Summer Camp.

At the event Mr McAreavey said: “I wanted to establish a camp for young girls aged 11-13 that would provide them with an environment, which reflects the core values of The Michaela Foundation, while having the most fun a camp can offer.”

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