Husband of honeymoon murder victim calls for privacy

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The husband of murdered honeymooner Michaela McAreavey has appealed for privacy following the acquittal of two hotel workers over his wife’s killing.

John McAreavey and family members are expected home in Ireland from Mauritius today and have insisted they do not wish to discuss the outcome of the eight-week trial.

In a statement on behalf of the McAreavey and Harte families, they thanked all those who have supported them.

“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.”

Sandip Moneea and Avinash Treebhoowoon were cleared of the newlywed’s murder by a jury at the Supreme Court in Port Louis on Thursday.

The nine jurors took just over two hours to find both men not guilty of murdering the daughter of Tyrone gaelic football manager Mickey Harte in the island’s luxury Legends hotel in January last year.

The 27-year-old teacher was found dead in the bathtub of her deluxe room shortly after lunching with her husband at a poolside restaurant.

Both defendants worked at the hotel at the time.

Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the people of Ireland empathised with the families while diplomatic avenues would also be explored regarding calls for a new investigation.

“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.

“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.”

The men’s lawyers have launched a scathing attack on the Mauritian police team that extracted a so-called murder confession from Treebhoowoon and demanded a fresh probe into the crime.

In the only reaction from Mrs McAreavey’s relatives, who left court with two police officers from Northern Ireland who had accompanied them during the trial, they said words could not express their desolation.