McAreavey trial judge discounts rowing couple

The identity of a couple seen apparently arguing in the hotel in Mauritius where honeymooner Michaela McAreavey died is no longer an issue in the trial of two men accused of her murder, the judge has told jurors.

The identity of a couple seen apparently arguing in the hotel in Mauritius where honeymooner Michaela McAreavey died is no longer an issue in the trial of two men accused of her murder, the judge has told jurors.

Defence lawyers had originally claimed the man and woman were the Co Tyrone teacher and her husband John but today informed the Supreme Court in Port Louis they would not be pursuing the matter further.

Their statements came after a request from the prosecution for the defence counsel to make clear the couple were not the McAreaveys.

Judge Mr Justice Prithviraj Fecknah told the nine jurors the identity of the people was not an issue.

“As far as you are concerned as members of the jury you need not delve any further into this aspect of the evidence,” he said.

Last week, Assistant Police Commissioner Yoosoof Soopun told the court the couple captured in the grainy security camera image at the reception of the Legends Hotel the day Mrs McAreavey died were actually German holidaymakers Harald Hoyer and Savarese Graziella.

The footage was filmed just after 3pm on January 10 last year, around 15 minutes after the prosecution claim the daughter of Tyrone football boss Mickey Harte was murdered by two hotel employees.

Former room attendant Avinash Treebhoowoon, 31, and floor supervisor Sandip Moneea, 42, deny her murder.

The couple in the clip appeared to be engaged in a heated discussion, with the woman gesticulating, holding her head in her hands and at one point looking as if she was wiping her eyes.

Mrs McAreavey’s widower, her brother Mark Harte and father-in- law Brendan McAreavey were all in court as the judge made his statement.

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