29/06/2012

Mauritius Trial On Hold At Six-Week Mark

The trial of two men accused of murdering a Co Tyrone newlywed has been put on hold while lawyers attempted to resolve an outstanding legal issue.

Judge Mr Justice Prithviraj Fecknah thanked jurors at the Mauritius murder trial surrounding Michaela McAreavey's death for their patience.

No evidence was taken on the 27th day of a case that was originally scheduled to last just nine.

Local men Avinash Treebhoowoon and Sandip Moneea deny murdering Mrs McAreavey, 27, in her honeymoon suite at the luxury Legends Hotel, where they both worked.

The prosecution claims they attacked her when she caught them stealing.

The trial at the island's capital city, Port Louis, was due to resume today, with Treebhoowoon taking to the witness stand for a fourth day to testify in his own defence.

But the judge excluded jurors from proceedings and then called them back in to say proceedings would resume on Monday.

He said: "Members of the jury I have to inform you that since this morning we have not called you in court because we had to deal with a matter of law. That matter has now been sorted out and we will resume on Monday morning. I thank you very much for your patience."

(NE/GK)

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