One of the men accused of murdering Michaela Harte had previously admitted that he and another man had killed her, the preliminary enquiry heard on Wednesday.
A statement given by Avinash Treebhoowon in the days after Michaela Harte’s murder was read out in court. It stated that he and his co-accused Sandip Mooneea would not have killed the Tyrone woman if they had not seen her face, reports the Irish Examiner.
However during the hearing defense attorney for Treebhoowon challenged the "voluntariness and regularity" of his clients confession.
Both of the men are maintaining that their were coerced into confessing.
The statement read to the court outlined the defendants movements on the day of the murder.
The morning of the murder the room attendant began work at 7.15am. At 1pm he saw a “do not disturb’ sign on the door of the couples suite, room 1025 but John McAreavey told him to come back in five minutes. The court heard that thirty minutes later the tag was still in the door. After consulting Mooneea, his supervisor he was told to clean the room if no one answered the door.
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“I refused because the room was tagged DND [do not disturb] and I told Sandip: ‘Let’s go together, I will not go alone.’ "
He entered the couple’s suite at around 2.10pm and nobody was inside. While cleaning the furniture he noticed some cash sticking out of a wallet.
"I thought about stealing some notes," the statement said.
"I told him (Mooneea) that there were some notes in the wallet and we could split up between ourselves," Treebhoowon said.
He then heard someone enter the room: “I saw a white woman with brown hair, slim and young, wearing a blue bikini. When she came in, she saw the wallet in my hand... She shouted: ‘What are you doing? What are you searching in my pocket?”
"I pushed her and she fell... The woman was shouting and I told Sandip to prevent her from shouting. When she was on the floor, she was not injured.
"He pressed on the throat of the woman to stop her from shouting... He continued to press on the throat for a minute."
During this time the statement said that the Irish woman tried to free herself from her attackers grip.
"He [Mooneea] kept on pressing on her throat until the woman lost consciousness... We dumped her in the bathtub. We let the water flow to erase any clues."
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