Mauritian DPP 'in shock' after verdict
THE DIRECTOR of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in Mauritius has said he is in a “state of shock” after the two acquittals in the Michaela McAreavey murder trial, but has strongly defended the police investigation into the murder.
Satyajit Boolell said he found the jury’s verdict difficult to understand, and that his concerns were shared “at the very highest echelons” of government.
“We are in a state of shock as to why we have this verdict when we felt that we had established our case beyond a reasonable doubt,” Mr Boolell told The Irish Times.
After an eight-week trial, former hotel cleaners Avinash Treebhoowoon (32) and Sandip Moneea (43) were unanimously acquitted on Thursday of the murder of Ms McAreavey, the 27-year-old teacher from Co Tyrone who was strangled while on honeymoon in Mauritius last year.
Defence barristers were scathing about the police inquiry, alleging officers beat one of the defendants into signing a fabricated confession and failed to carry out basic investigative work.
Mr Boolell said that while police could have been “more thorough” about certain aspects of the case, he was satisfied overall with their inquiry. “I reject totally these easy, cheap allegations against the police,” he said.
On the prospects of reopening the inquiry, the DPP said the authorities were looking at whether there were circumstances that could justify that. “Even though this is a setback, we must not tell ourselves this is the end of the matter,” he said. “If these two people did not kill Michaela McAreavey, then who killed her?”
Political leaders on both sides of the Border expressed solidarity with the Harte and McAreavey families. Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he was “absolutely heartbroken” for them that nobody had been brought to justice over the killing.