Three hotel employees have appeared in court, in Mauritius, in connection to the murder Michaela Harte, the 27-year-old daughter of the Tyrone Gaelic football manager, Mickey Harte.
Michaela Harte was found strangled to death in the bathroom of her honeymoon suite, at the five-star Legends Hotel complex. The injuries she sustained showed that she attempted to fight off her attacker.
She was found in the bath by her husband John McAreavey, a County Down footballer. Blood was found under Michaela’s nails. Mr McAreavey volunteered a sample and was cleared as a suspect.
The hotel computer showed that their bedroom door had been opened with a keycard two minutes before Michaela returned to the room. It is believed that she interrupted a botched burglary. She had returned to her bedroom to get some biscuits to have with her tea after lunch.
Inspector Ranjit Jokhoo told Irish state broadcaster RTE “We arrested three employees of Legends Hotel…We have got reason to believe that they have something to do with the death of Michaela Harte."
In court one of the accused claimed that the had been the victim of police brutality yesterday. Room attendant, Abinash Treeboowoon (29) told the court that he had been roughly treated by the Mauritian police. His legal counsel have asked that a full investigation into the incident be carried out.
Treeboowoon and room attendant Sandip Monea (41) are charged with the murder of Michaela McAreavy, nee Harte. A third man Raj Theekov (33), also a room attendant, is being held on a conspiracy charge. The three will appear in court again next Wednesday, January 19.
Last night, Michaela’s, Mickey Harte, released a statement flanked by his two sons. It was shown on all Irish news programs. He said his family were going through the “worst nightmare anyone can imagine”. He described his daughter, who never left his side, as a “gem” and said their hearts were broken.
He said “I just loved her to bits and so did her whole family…We are so devastated. 27 years of a wonderful wee girl who grew up into a beautiful lady, just so radiant, just so special. We will miss her so much."
Mr Harte also said the family’s hearts went out to Michael’s husband who was “devastated” and “isolated” at the hotel in Mauritius. The couple had been married for just 12 days.
The Mauritius Tourism Minister Nando Bodha visited Mr McAreavey at the hotel. When asked if he had a message for the people of Ireland Mr McAreavey said “I love my wife.”