Man charged with theft in connection with Michaela’s murder to sue the state of Mauritius for ‘wrongful arrest’

A former hotel worker was released on bail for theft Michaela McAreavey Mord plans to sue the Mauritian state for wrongful arrest.

Andip Moneea, 52, who was acquitted of the young teacher’s murder at a trial in 2012, was provisionally charged this week with conspiracy to steal in the hotel room where Ms McAreavey was killed.

Last month another former hotel worker – former security guard Dassen Narayanen – was charged with the same offence.

Mr Moneea and Mr Narayanen are accused of conspiring to steal a magnetic key card for the room occupied by Ms McAreavey and her husband in order to commit a theft.

Last night Mr Moneea’s lawyer, Rama Valayden, said he was confident his motion to have the charges dropped would be successful.

“I believe 100 percent that the charges are not final and that the chief of attorney’s office needs to drop them,” he said.

“Once that happens, we will sue the state for wrongful arrest and moral damages inflicted on Mr. Moneea’s family.”

Mr Valayden said that under the Mauritius Constitution, someone acquitted in a murder count could not be re-arrested by police unless a special request was made in court.

He claimed that this procedure had not been followed in his client’s case.

“There is no new and compelling evidence related to this case,” he said.

“The basis for Mr Moneea’s arrest and preliminary charge is new testimony from Dassen Narayanen, who is undergoing psychiatric treatment. Mr Moneea was arrested at his place of work in a very public stunt as part of a very shoddy investigation. This benefits nobody, the victim’s family, those wrongly accused again and the reputation of the country.”

Mr Valayden said Mauritius is currently in the midst of a “constitutional crisis” and that there is dissatisfaction with the “politicization of the police”. “This case is being used as a diversion,” he said.

The card used to gain entry two minutes before Ms McAreavey entered her room has never been found. Traces of Mr Narayanen’s DNA were found on an unauthorized “dummy” magnetic card that was found in the hotel’s security office on the spot where the actual staff card that opened the door of room 1025 should have been.

A potential genetic match to Mr Narayanen was also found in a cabinet 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 media interviews at the time, Mr Narayanen claimed that police beat him and put a revolver to his head before he signed a statement saying he had given Mr Moneea the stolen master key card early on 10 January 2011. A second statement, which he also said was fabricated by another associate, Seenarain Mungroo.

Mr Mungroo was questioned by the police and charged, but the charges were later dropped when it was revealed that Mr Narayanen had made up the story about him.

Ms McAreavey (27) was strangled to death 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 her murder. Man charged with theft in connection with Michaela’s murder to sue the state of Mauritius for ‘wrongful arrest’

Fry Electronics Team

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