Two cleared of Michaela murder
Jul 13 2012
Two men acquitted of murdering honeymooner Michaela McAreavey in Mauritius have expressed joy and relief as their lawyers insisted the real culprit could still be found.
Sandip Moneea and Avinash Treebhoowoon were mobbed by relatives and supporters in chaotic scenes both in and outside the Supreme Court in Port Louis sparked by their unanimous not guilty verdicts.
Fireworks were let off and chants of "justice, justice" rang out in the packed courtyard as the two former hotel workers emerged, followed soon after by their triumphant barristers carried shoulder high.
Amid the celebrations, lawyers Sanjeev Teeluckdharry and Rama Valayden launched a scathing attack on the Mauritian police team that had extracted a so-called murder confession from Treebhoowoon and demanded a fresh probe into the crime.
The tragic newlywed's widower John was not there to witness the loud and boisterous aftermath of the verdicts, having quickly walked out of court with family members as soon as they were read out. Afterwards a statement from Mrs McAreavey's relatives said words could not express their desolation.
The nine jurors took just over two hours to find both men not guilty of murdering the daughter of Tyrone Gaelic football manager Mickey Harte in the island's luxury Legends hotel last January.
The 27-year-old teacher was found dead in the bathtub of her deluxe room shortly after lunching with her husband at a poolside restaurant. Both defendants worked at the hotel at the time .
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