A lawyer representing a former hotel worker has been acquitted of the murder of an Irish honeymooner Michaela McAreavey claims new charges against his client have “no substance”.
Andip Moneea, 52, who was acquitted of the teacher’s murder in a 2012 trial, was remanded in custody yesterday on conspiracy to steal in the hotel room where Ms McAreavey was killed.
Last month, another former hotel worker – ex-security officer Dassen Narayanen – was charged with the same crime.
Mooneea and Narayanen are accused of conspiring to steal a magnetic key card for the room occupied by Ms McAreavey and her husband to commit a theft.
Last night, Mr Moonea’s lawyer said he had not seen any new evidence that had surfaced in relation to his client.
“The charges are without substance,” he said.
“It is entirely based on new testimony from Dassen Narayanen, who has proven to be an unreliable witness in the past.”
Mr Valayden visited the Mapou Distcru court in Mauritius yesterday to ask that the charges against his client be dropped. A decision on that request, as well as a request for his client’s release on bail, will be heard on Tuesday.
He said Mr Monnea was “devastated” by his re-arrest more than a decade after he was acquitted of murdering Ms Mcareavey, but he believes he will be released on bail next week.
In March this year, Dassen Narayanen was remanded in custody and accused of conspiring with another hotel employee to steal a magnetic key card to gain access to the room occupied by Michaela McAvreavey and her husband in order to commit a theft.
A police officer who testified at the 2012 Supreme Court trial told the court Narayanen was not one of the killers, but claimed he provided the key card that opened the room, as part of his role in a widespread racket, um stealing guests. Traces of the security guard’s DNA were found on an unauthorized “dummy” magnetic card that was found in the hotel’s security office in the place where the actual staff card that opened the door of room 1025 should have been.
The card that gave access two minutes before Mrs McAreavey entered her room was never found. A potential genetic match to Narayans was also found in a closet in 1025’s bathroom that contained a safe. But a DNA expert said it may have been an accidental find and not conclusive evidence he had touched it.
In subsequent media interviews, Narayanen claimed that police beat him and put a revolver to his head before he signed a statement stating that he gave Sandip Moneea the stolen master key card early on January 10, 2011. A second explanation, which he also said was fabricated, implicated another associate, Seenarain Mungroo.
Mr Mungroo was questioned by the police and charged, but the charges were later dropped when it was revealed Narayanen had made up the story about him.
Ms McAreavey, 27, was strangled to death in her room at the Legends Hotel in Mauritius on January 10, 2011.
The teacher, who married husband John 10 days earlier, was allegedly attacked after returning to her room alone and disrupting a burglary.
No one has been convicted of the murder of Gaelic football manager Mickey Harte’s daughter.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/lawyer-claims-new-charges-against-worker-acquitted-of-michaela-murder-groundless-41572211.html Lawyer files new charges against worker who was acquitted of Michaela’s murder “for no reason”.