There was a major development on Tuesday of this week in the hunt for the killer of Irish woman Michaela McAreavey who was murdered on her honeymoon 11 years ago in Mauritius.
Police probing the murder of Michaela McAreavey, the 27-year-old Co Tyrone woman who was murdered while on her honeymoon in Mauritius in 2012, arrested a man in Mauritius on Tuesday morning, the Irish Sun reported.
Sandip Moneea, 52, was taken in for questioning by the island nation’s major crime investigation team. He was one of two men acquitted of the murder of the Co Tyrone newlywed in 2012.
Last week, in a highly unusual development, Moneea held a press conference with his own lawyers to declare, “I am innocent.”
That came amid his concern he may be rearrested by murder squad police after the reopening of the case.
McAreavey was married for just 10 days when she was attacked and killed in her Legends Hotel room while disturbing a burglary. Two hotel workers, Moneea and Avinash Treebhoowoon, 41, were acquitted of murder. A charge of conspiracy to steal a master key used to open rooms was dropped against Dassen Narayanen, 37.
Narayanen was rearrested last month again on suspicion of conspiracy to commit larceny and was remanded in custody. He has since been treated in hospital for an ongoing mental condition.
Last year, the government of Mauritius agreed to re-examine at the murder case, and McAreavey’s widower, John, praised the move as “a significant step in the right direction.”
Then, last October, a key witness to her death, Legends Hotel cleaner Raj Theekoy, was found dead.
He was provisionally charged with conspiracy to murder, but the case against him was dropped and he was granted immunity from prosecution after spending two months in prison.
Following Theekoy’s death, John McAreavey, in a statement sympathizing with Theekoy’s family, added, “When it comes to getting to the truth about Michaela’s murder, nothing has been straightforward in Mauritius and neither the Hartes or myself will be deterred from pursuing justice and truth. Not today, not tomorrow and not ever.
“We will be asking the authorities to assure us that no end will be spared in securing justice for Michaela.”
*This column first appeared in the April 20 edition of the weekly Irish Voice newspaper, sister publication to IrishCentral.