BREAKING: Pair found not guilty of McAreavey murder

THE two men accused of the murder of Michaela McAreavey have been found not guilty by a court in Mauritius this afternoon (Thursday July 12).

Michaela, who was 27 and married to Tullylish man John McAreavey and is the daughter of Mickey Harte, the Tyrone Gaelic football manager, was killed during the couple's honeymoon in January 2011.

The trial of Avinash Treebhoowoon, 32, and Sandip Moneea, 43, at the Supreme Court in Mauritius lasted for seven weeks - one of the longest in the country's legal history.

The verdict was greeted with cheers from the public gallery while the McAreavey and Harte families left the court upon hearing the verdict.

The two accused worked at the Legends hotel where Mrs McAreavey was killed. The police and the prosecution said that she had been murdered after disturbing thieves in her room.

She died as a result of asphyxiation caused by compression to the neck caused by a grip of a hand to her throat and the pressing of a forearm around her collarbone, according to the doctor who carried out the post mortem.

Treebhoowoon said that he had initally confessed to the murder after the police had threatened and beaten him.

A statement from the Harte and McAreavey families is expected later. John was accompanied throughout the trial by his father Brendan, sister Claire and brother-in-law Mark Harte.

We will have more on this story later on banbridgeleader.co.uk and dromoreleader.co.uk