Charges against key witness and man accused over key-card dropped
THE 'OTHER TWO':FIVE HOTEL employees were originally charged in connection with the murder of Michaela McAreavey. Two, Avinash Treebhoowoon and Sandip Moneea, were put on trial for conspiracy to murder. A security guard, Dassen Naraynen, was charged with conspiracy to commit larceny. All charges against the remaining two men, Raj Theekoy and Seenarain Mungroo, were dropped.
Raj Theekoy (35) has spent all his life in northern Mauritius, where he was born and now lives with his wife and son. When his education came to an end after primary school, he first became a barber before taking up work in a textile factory in the town of Pamplemousses.
His first room attendant’s job was at the Marina Hotel, but when security officers one day found a small bottle of wine in his bag – it was his bottle, Mr Theekoy maintained, but he couldn’t prove it – he decided to resign.
He left with a letter of recommendation in his pocket, and with it he applied for a job as a room attendant at Legends Hotel in Grand Gaube.
That was in August 2010 – five months before Michaela McAreavey was killed.
Mr Theekoy was arrested as a suspect in the days after the killing. He initially denied any knowledge of the incident, before giving police a statement that implicated Mr Treebhoowoon and Mr Moneea.
He described hearing a woman scream out in pain three times from behind the closed door of room 1025 at about the time of the killing. He claimed Mr Treebhoowoon’s trolley was outside the room at the time.
After hiding in the doorway of a nearby room, he then saw the two accused men walk from the direction of room 1025 a few minutes later. They looked “very anxious”, Mr Theekoy said, and Mr Treebhoowoon’s face appeared wet.
When he confronted his two colleagues about what happened, according to Mr Theekoy’s account, Mr Moneea threatened to implicate him in the case if he opened his mouth.
Mr Theekoy was granted immunity from prosecution to give evidence as a prosecution witness. He is unemployed, and lives with his wife and child about 20 minutes’ drive from Legends Hotel.
Seenarain Mungroo (41), a security guard at Legends Hotel, was charged with conspiracy to murder in January last year. According to assistant police commissioner Yoosoof Soopun, Mr Mongroo was implicated by his colleague Dassen Naraynen, who said he saw him stealing the master keycard that was used to enter the McAreaveys’ room two minutes before Ms McAreavey entered at 2.44pm on the day of the killing.
All charges against Mr Mungroo were dropped, and he is suing the state of Mauritius for 20 million rupees for wrongful arrest.