Northern Ireland news

Death of Michaela McAreavey witness 'will not deter pursuit of justice,' says widower

John and Michaela McAreavey

THE lead witness in the Michaela McAreavey murder trial has been found dead in Mauritius, it has been reported.

Details of the death of Raj Theekoy emerged, with Mauritian news website Zinfor Moris reporting that the body of the 43-year-old had been found at wasteground in the Goodlands area in the north Mauritius' main island. He had been reported missing by his wife.

Mr Theekoy acted as the main witness in the 2012 trial of two hotel workers, Avinash Treebhoowoon and Sandip Moneea, charged with murdering Tyrone woman Michaela, who was found dead at the Legends resort in Mauritius in January 2011.

The 27-year-old daughter of Tyrone GAA football manager Mickey Harte had been on honeymoon with new husband John McAreavey when her body was discovered in the bathroom of their resort accommodation.

In a statement, Mr McAreavey said MrTheekoy's death was “a tragedy” for his family.

“When it comes to getting to the truth about Michaela’s murder nothing has been straightforward in Mauritius and neither the Hartes or myself will be deterred from pursuing justice and truth. Not today, not tomorrow and not ever,” he said.

“We will be asking the authorities to assure us that no end will be spared in securing justice for Michaela.”

Giving evidence during the trial, Mr Theekoy said he saw both defendents in the vicinity of Michaela's room and had heard a woman screaming "in pain".

The pair were eventually found not guilty.

Earlier this year, authorities in Mauritius said they had agreed to re-examine the case, while in January John McAreavey said in a statement to mark the tenth anniversary of his bride's murder: "The pain of being denied justice is compounded by the fact that Michaela's murderers continue to walk free."


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