11/06/2012

McAreavey Murder Accused 'In Another Room'

One of the men accused of killing a Tyrone newlywed in Mauritius has said he was not in the room when she died but called a doctor when he saw a manager trying to revive her.

Sandip Moneea, 42, gave his account of the January day last year when Michaela McAreavey was killed.

A former floor supervisor at the Legends Hotel where she and her new husband John were staying, Moneea was in charge of inspecting cleaners' work.

He oversaw the work of his co-accused Avinash Treebhoowoon, 30.

When questioned by police on the day after the murder, Moneea told police he passed the McAreaveys' suite at about 3.15pm and saw the hotel manager, Brice Linot, trying to revive Mrs McAreavey.

He was working in other rooms at the time when she was murdered, he told police in a statement which was read out to the court today.

He said he called the hotel reception to ask for a doctor as quickly as possible, and was then told to leave.

He said he found out later that the woman had been killed but he did not know how.

Treebhoowoon had cleaned nine rooms, at least one of them in the same block as the McAreaveys' suite, Moneea said.

Both accused deny the murder.

Last week, the court heard a purse found in the McAreaveys' room after the murder was not dusted for fingerprints, and items taken from the room were not sent for DNA analysis.

The trial continues.

(NE/GK)

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