New police team will probe Michaela murder

A NEW police team has been formed to further investigate the murder of Michaela McAreavey in Mauritius 18 months ago.

Two hotel workers were acquitted of the 27-year-old’s murder earlier this month, and there was a public outcry when Michaela’s husband Tullylish footballer John had to return home without justice for his new bride.

There was more outrage when just days later pictures of Michaela’s body were published in one of the island’s Sunday newspapers.

The First and Dupty First Ministers, as well as leading Irish politicians called for a further probe into Michaela’s killing.

And on Monday it was revealed that one of the first tasks of the new police team is expected to be interviewing those who were in the immediate area of John and Michaela’s honeymoon suite at the then Legends hotel.

It is understood the team will also try to find the room’s missing electronic key card and examine DNA samples from the crime scene.

The move to set up the new policing team came shortly after the Irish Ambassador to Mauritius met with the country’s PM last Friday.

The Irish Deputy PM said, “The Prime Minister advised the Ambassador that the Government of Mauritius deeply regretted and condemned the leaking and publication of the photographs which appeared in the Sunday Times of Mauritius. He indicated that there would be a thorough police investigation into the matter and that anyone found to be involved faced prosecution.”

The country’s foreign affairs minister, Arvin Boolell, who also attended the meeting, said “no stone will be left unturned” until those responsible for Michaela’s death are found.

“It was a very cordial meeting with the ambassador who told the prime minister of the appreciation of his letter sent to the Irish PM and the communiques of government, especially after the publication of the photos in the press,” he said.

“All this said, we need to know the authors of this heinous crime and we will exchange any information possible”.

Last week Martin McGuinness also met with the Irish Ambassador to Mauritius.

NI’s Attorney General is also set to examine papers from the murder investigation.

During a court appearance last week, the Sunday Times Mauritius editor and director was reported to have fainted or had a stroke. He was later released on bail.

Speaking at a camp organised in memory of his daughter last week Tyrone manager Mickey Harte said he was relieved to experience some happy times after the difficulties of recent weeks.

The Harte and McAreavey families responded to his apology following the publication of the images of Michaela’s body by urging him to reveal their source.