The Prime Minister of Mauritus has written to police in Ireland, asking them to assist in their investigation of the murder of Michaela McAreavey.

Dr Navin Ramgoolam has confirmed a judicial inquiry has been set up to examine the case and that he has written to the Garda Síochána (Irish police force) and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) to invite them to assist with their investigations.

A 27-year-old schoolteacher from Tyrone, Michaela was murdered while on her honeymoon in the Legends Hotel in Mauritius in January 2011.

Dr Ramgoolam told BBC Radio Ulster’s Evening Extra program on Tuesday that he would: “be very, very happy to have them come and assist us. In fact I am going to write to both of them to suggest that we are prepared to welcome detectives from Ireland to assist us in our task.”

Asked when they could come he responded the “sooner the better”.

Dr Ramgoolam said the purpose of the judicial inquiry would be to assist in “finding whoever perpetrated this heinous crime”.

“I am very hopeful that we will get to the bottom of this,” he added.

The Irish Times reports the PSNI said it “would give consideration to any requests for assistance”.

Meanwhile, the editor of the Sunday Times newspaper in Mauritus, which published graphic crime scene photos last weekend, could face up to a year in prison.

The newspaper's offices were raided by police after they published photos of McAreavey’s dead body on Sunday.

The newspaper editor Imraan Hosany said he would co-operate with a police investigation into the incident. Hosany could not face a criminal charge against public and religious morality. A person found guilty of the offense could face up to one year in prison.

John McAreavey and Michaela McAreavey on their wedding dayPA