The widower of Michaela McAreavey has appealed for privacy following Thursday’s acquittal of the two men charged with the Tyrone woman’s murder.
John McAreavey, his father, sister and brother in law are expected to arrive home to Ireland on Saturday following the seven week murder trial in Mauritius, the Associated Press reports.
The 27-year-old daughter of Tyrone GAA manager Mickey Harte was murdered 12-days after her wedding day while on honeymoon in January 2011. Two hotel workers, Avinash Treebhoowoon, (32) and Sandip Moneea, (43), were charged with her murder. Both were acquitted of the charges on Thursday at the Supreme Court in Mauritius.
The Harte and McAreavey family issued a statement in the hours following the verdict, asking the public to respect their plea for privacy.
"Following yesterday's verdict and our afternoon press update on July 12, both families have indicated that they will not be making any further comment on the trial or their ordeal in Mauritius," the families said.
"They thank people for their support and ask the media to respect their right to privacy as they return home."
After a trial which lasted almost two months, the nine jurors deliberated for over two hours to find the accused Sandip Moneea and Avinash Treebhoowoon not guilty of murdering the 27-year-old teacher.
The Director of Public Prosecution in Mauritius told BBC’s Newsline that an 'independent fact finding commission' into the murder will be launched.
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny empathized with the family.
"I'm absolutely heartbroken for the families. This is utter devastation for them and for John McAreavey himself, this has been so difficult," he said.
‘‘For the McAreavey family and for Michaela's family on behalf of the people, I just want to empathize with the depth of their grief and the sense of injustice that the decision was the way it was"
"I noted the words of the [Mauritian] Prime Minister [Navinchandra Ramgoolam] that justice would be done and justice would be seen to be done. A beautiful young Irish woman was murdered and her husband was out there for the last seven or eight weeks facing the consequences of a trial which has brought nobody to justice."