Mauritius asks Garda and PSNI to assist


THE PRIME minister of Mauritius has written to the Garda Síochána and PSNI to invite them to assist in investigating the murder of Michaela McAreavey.

As the relatives of Ms McAreavey yesterday urged a newspaper in Mauritius to inform police investigating her killing of how it came into possession of crime scene photographs of her dead body, Dr Navin Ramgoolam said a judicial inquiry would be set up to examine the case.

He also disclosed he was writing yesterday to both the PSNI and the Garda to invite them to assist in the investigation.

Dr Ramgoolam made his comments after Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, who will meet the Mauritian high commissioner tomorrow, suggested that the PSNI and the Garda could help in trying to solve the murder case.

“I would be very, very happy to have them come and assist us. In fact I am going to write to both of them to suggest that we are prepared to welcome detectives from Ireland to assist us in our task,” Dr Ramgoolam told BBC Radio Ulster’s Evening Extra programme yesterday.

Asked when they could come he said: “My view is the sooner the better.”

Dr Ramgoolam said the ultimate purpose of the judicial inquiry would be to assist in “finding whoever perpetrated this heinous crime”. Asked did he believe the killers would ever be brought to justice, he replied: “I am very hopeful that we will get to the bottom of this.”

The PSNI said it “would give consideration to any requests for assistance”.

Meanwhile, the Mauritian Sunday Times has apologised for publishing the photographs at the weekend, which were taken at the scene in the Legends Hotel where Ms McAreavey was killed while on honeymoon with her husband John in January last year.

A director of the newspaper, Gen Imran Hosany, said the motive for publishing the images was not sensationalism but rather “to recall that such a heinous crime remained unpunished”.

Two former staff of the hotel in which Ms McAreavey was killed were found not guilty of her murder last week. The Mauritian DPP has indicated that a new inquiry into the killing could be opened if there were new leads to justify it.

The McAreavey and Harte families said in a statement yesterday that if the Mauritian Sunday Times editor was, as he claimed, “fully co-operating with the police, then the best and most obvious form of apology would be to tell them how his newspaper came into receipt of these photographs. This would be a start to taking some degree of personal responsibility”.

They added: “The hurt this man and his newspaper have caused over the past 48 hours cannot be undone. As an editor he made a calculated decision to use photographs and images that no responsible media outlet would have touched.”

“[The editor] further exacerbated his actions by printing an inexcusable editorial in a feeble attempt to justify what was wholly unjustifiable,” the families said.