The murder trial of the two men accused of killing Michaela Harte in Mauritius has heard further accusations of police brutality. In another shock move, one of the defence lawyers has quit the case.
One of the accused, Avinash Treebhoowoon (30), alleges that he was told by police that his own wife would be taken from him and given to the widower John McAreavey, if he did not confess to the killing.
The Irish Times reports that Treebhoowoon has also claimed investigators held his head underwater for so long that he began vomiting blood.
On Wednesday, Treebhoowoon’s defence lawyer Ravi Rutnah dramatically quit the case amid claims that Chief Inspector Luciano Gerard had attacked his professional integrity. Rutnah is now being submitted as an additional witness.
The daughter of Tyrone GAA legend Mickey Harte, Michaela was found dead in the bathroom of her hotel room during her honeymoon at the Legends Hotel in Mauritius in January 2011.
When questioned about the allegations of police brutality, Chief Inspector Gerard denied the claims throughout the four hours of cross examination.
He replied "No my lord", "Never my lord", "This is unfounded and ridiculous my lord" and "I can't see why any police officer would expose himself by beating or inflicting bodily harm to Mr Treebhoowoon".
Both Treebhoowoon and his fellow accused Sandip Moneea deny they murdered the 27-year-old after she interrupted a burglary in her honeymoon suite.
The two former Legends employees confessed to the murder in the days following the killing, but both claim they were coerced into making their statements.