Mauritius hotel worker in court on larceny charge

Sat, Aug 18, 2012, 01:00

A FORMER security guard at the Legends Hotel in Mauritius, where Michaela McAreavey was murdered last year, appeared in court on the island yesterday accused of conspiracy to commit larceny.

The case involving Dassen Narayanen was adjourned to October 12th after the police asked for a postponement to give them time for further investigation.

Ms McAreavey (27) was found strangled in her room at the Legends Hotel during her honeymoon on the island in January 2011.

Last month, two former hotel workers, Avinash Treebhoowoon and Sandip Moneea, were found not guilty of her murder following a lengthy trial.

Mr Narayanen’s lawyer, Poonam Sookun, has asked for charges against him to be dropped on a point of law. She has argued that the charge of conspiracy against her client can no longer hold since the other person he is accused of having conspired with, Sandip Moneea, has been acquitted of the murder charges in a unanimous verdict on July 12th.

Following the acquittals, the police reopened the investigation and arrested Mr Narayanen for conspiracy with Mr Moneea in theft before the murder.

Mr Narayanen’s lawyer’s argument is that since the charges against Mr Moneea have been dropped and he cannot be tried twice for the same crime under Mauritian laws, the charges against her client should also be dropped.

After the acquittals, the Mauritian prime minister Navin Ramgoolam personally declared that a new investigation would take place and the country would not rest until those responsible for the killing were convicted and imprisoned. He also invited Ireland and the UK to contribute their expertise to help to solve the crime.

The director of public prosecutions in Mauritius will decide on whether Mr Narayanen should be tried for conspiracy.