Northern Ireland

Michaela murder: PSNI asked to assist investigation

John McAreavey leaving the court in Mauritius during the trial
Image caption John McAreavey said his life ended on the day his wife was killed.

The Mauritian prime minister is writing to the PSNI and Garda to invite them to assist detectives investigating the murder of Michaela McAreavey.

Speaking on BBC Radio Ulster's Evening Extra, Dr Navin Ramgoolam said a judicial inquiry would be set up to re-examine the case.

The NI deputy first minister Martin McGuinnes called for police from both sides of the Irish border to help.

He is due to meet the Mauritian high commissioner on Thursday.

Earlier Mr McGuinness said he would ask that the PSNI and Irish police be invited to the island to jointly review the investigation into the murder.

He also wants to formally complain about "obscene photographs" of the crime scene published in a Mauritian paper.

Mrs McAreavey, 27, from County Tyrone was killed at the Legends hotel on the island in 2011.

She was on her honeymoon having married John McAreavey less than two weeks earlier.

Last week, two former workers at the hotel were found not guilty of her murder.

Pictures of the young teacher lying dead in her room were published by the Mauritian Sunday Times newspaper at the weekend causing outrage in Ireland.

Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Mr McGuinness said the actions of the paper in publishing the photographs were "callous and unjustifiable".

Speaking on Tuesday, Mr Guinness said: "We will be making it very clear that the people of Ireland feel let down by the Mauritian justice system.

"I believe that John McAreavey, Mickey and Marian Harte have been disgracefully treated by the investigation, court proceedings and how it was conducted."

Mr McGuinness said the detectives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland were willing to travel to Mauritius.

"I believe the police and the gardai could work together on this," he said.

"A good start for Mauritius would be to extend an invitation to the police and the gardai to travel to Mauritius to review the conduct of this case."

The deputy first minister said he felt there had been a "dismal failure on the part of the authorities to bring the killers to justice."

And he said the Mauritian newspaper should pay a penalty for its "obscene" behaviour.

The director general of the Mauritian newspaper, Imran Hosany, has apologised. He said the motive was not sensationalism. Instead, it was "to recall that such a heinous crime remained unpunished".

But Prime Minister Dr Ramgoolam told the Mauritian parliament on Tuesday: "This is a clear illustration of one of the most despicable methods of abuse and breach of the right to freedom of expression.

"It shows an utter lack of respect for, and a reckless infliction of further hardship on the bereaved families."

"In the light of the experience from the above case, I am informed by the Commissioner of Police that, henceforth, in important and high profile cases, the police will impose the video recording of statements."

Speaking about the photographs, the Harte and McAreavey families said "the hurt 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," they said.

"He further exacerbated his actions by printing an inexcusable editorial in a feeble attempt to justify what was wholly unjustifiable.

"As there is an on going police investigation by the Mauritian authorities as to how these distressing crime scene photographs found their way into the hands of this newspaper, if as this man claims, he is fully cooperating 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."

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