North's AG to raise retrial possibility of those acquitted in McAreavey case
THE NORTH’S Attorney General John Larkin is to speak to the Mauritian authorities about the Michaela McAreavey murder investigation, including the possibility of a retrial of the suspects acquitted last week, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has said.
After a meeting with the Mauritian High Commission in London, Mr McGuinness said he had been assured “that there is every prospect” of a retrial.
Despite contradictory signals yesterday, Mr McGuinness said Mauritian officials had “explained to me that there is a case ongoing in Mauritius where someone was acquitted and is now facing a retrial.
“There was a very strong emphasis by the Mauritian representatives that the Mauritian government feel very strongly about this. There was unanimous support in the parliament and that they are very determined to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.
“I was very anxious to ascertain whether that included the prospect of a new trial. I am told that there is every prospect that there could be a retrial,” he told The Irish Times.
He welcomed signals from the Mauritians that they would welcome the support of Garda Síochána and Police Service of Northern Ireland detectives in a fresh investigation.
However, he said: “I think it is absolutely vital that their participation in all of this can only be in the context of there being a new trial – that is absolutely essential. We can’t just have a situation where people are going to come and examine papers and walk away.
“What we need to see is a very determined approach by the Mauritian authorities to ensure that the people responsible for this terrible deed are brought to justice.”
Mr Larkin has asked for a set of the trial papers and Mr McGuinness said he would be “examining in conjunction with the Mauritian authorities all of the possibilities. It would be foolish for me, someone who isn’t a lawyer, to delve into the legal process”.
Acting Mauritian high commissioner to London Mohamed Latona said Mr McGuinness had expressed “his sentiments which . . . are legitimate”.
“I explained that the government will take all necessary action to bring the perpetrators to justice,” he said, adding that Mauritius was “looking forward” to collaborating with the PSNI and Garda “so that they can help us in further investigation so that we can start afresh”.
He emphasised, however, that Mauritius had an independent courts system.
COURT APPEARANCE EDITOR FAINTS
THE EDITOR of a Mauritian newspaper that printed photographs of the body of Michaela McAreavey last weekend fainted in court yesterday before a court hearing started.Imran Hosany, editor and director of the Sunday Times, was brought to court to face charges in relation to publication.
He was taken by police to the courthouse at 12.30pm and according to his lawyer, Akil Bessessur, was made to wait for more than three hours.
Mr Bessessur said his client suffered from heart problems and blood pressure.