John McAreavey rejects defence 'lies'

 

The widower of Michaela McAreavey accused a lawyer for one of the men on trial for her murder of lying as he opened the case for the defence.

A barrister for Avinash Treebhoowoon was outlining to the jury his client’s claims that he was forced to sign a confession when John McAreavey spoke out from an otherwise silent public gallery.

“Lies,” he said audibly.

Sanjeev Teeluckdharry had told the Supreme Court in Port Louis, Mauritius, that Mr Treebhoowoon had been wrongly accused of the crime and subjected to torture in order to extract a confession.

Mr Treebhoowoon (31), and Sandip Moneea (42), deny strangling the Co Tyrone woman in the luxury Legends Hotel on the holiday island last January.The defendants both worked at the gated beachside resort at the time.

Mr Teeluckdharry did not react to Mr McAreavey’s interruption, which came at the close of his address.

The lawyer had been telling the court that his client would enter the witness box during the course of the defence case and tell jurors how he was treated by police.

“He will tell you how he was wrongly accused,” he said. “Not only, he will tell you how he was tortured relentlessly by unscrupulous police officers who were in an indecent haste to obtain a confession.”

Mr Teeluckdharry repeated some of the allegations which have already been outlined during the high-profile six-week trial - that Mr Treebhoowoon was beaten repeatedly, made to lie naked on a table and had his head plunged into a pail of water during interrogation.

“I have heard his ordeal many times and I must tell you I’m not immune from it,” said Mr Teeluckdharry. “I must tell you it’s not for the faint-hearted.”

It was in the middle of that line that Mr McAreavey interjected.

The widower sat with his sister Claire, father Brendan and brother-in-law Mark Harte in the front row of the public gallery during the 70-minute opening speech.

PA