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'Spare no end seeking justice for Michaela' - John McAreavey urges Mauritian authorities following witness death

Raj Theekoy room attendant at the legends hotel and witness for the prosecution waits outside the Supreme Court in Port Louis Mauritius on day ten of the trial

MICHAELA McAreavey's widower said "nothing should intrude" on the mourning by the family of the lead witness in the murder trial who has been found dead.

However, John McAreavey called on "the authorities to assure us that no end will be spared in securing justice for Michaela".

Raj Theekoy's body was found on wasteground at Beau-Plateau in the Goodlands area on the north Mauritius' main island on Sunday.

The 43-year-old had been reported missing on Saturday by his wife.

He had been the main witness in the 2012 trial of hotel workers, Avinash Treebhoowoon and Sandip Moneea, charged with murdering the Co Tyrone woman who was found dead at the Legends resort in Mauritius in January 2011.

Mr Theekoy was originally jointly charged with her killing before going on to testify against the pair.

The 27-year-old - who is the daughter of former Tyrone GAA manager Mickey Harte - and her new husband had been married just 10 days earlier and were on honeymoon.

At the trial Mr Theekoy, who was a valet in the hotel, said he saw both defendents in the vicinity of Michaela's room and had heard a woman screaming "in pain".

In a newspaper interview beforehand he said: "I hear her screaming... it goes over and over in my head. What I should have done, what I could have done... what I didn't do. My conscience is not clear.

"... It hasn't been easy, but I am innocent. I regret not doing something, yes, but I was just walking by and going about my business.

"Then I wasn't sure if I could interfere. Looking back now, maybe I should have. I had only started working at Legends four months before and room 1025 wasn't my area. Maybe I was in the wrong place at the wrong time."

The pair were ultimately found not guilty.

In a statement yesterday Mr McAreavey said: "Firstly, let me extend my sympathies to the family of Raj. This is a tragedy for them.

"Now is a time for their mourning and grief and nothing should intrude on that."

However, he stressed that both he and Michaela's family are determined to continue to seek justice.

Earlier this year, authorities in Mauritius said they had agreed to re-examine the case.

"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.

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

The body of Mr Theekoy, also known as Vishal, was taken in a funeral convoy yesterday from his mother's home at Ramnarain Road, Cottage to Carreau Accasia crematorium in the town.

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