Northern Ireland

'No DNA' found on two men charged with killing Michaela McAreavey

The trial of two men charged with the murder of Michaela McAreavey has heard that no DNA from either of the accused was found in her hotel room in Mauritius or on her body.

Mrs McAreavey, a 27-year-old teacher, was found dead during her honeymoon at the Legends Hotel in January 2011.

Hotel workers Avinash Treebhoowoon, 30, and Sandip Moneea, 42, deny murder.

On Monday, the court heard evidence from an Oxfordshire-based forensic scientist.

Susan Woodroffe examined samples from Mrs McAreavey's body, as well as swabs taken from the hotel room.

The scientist, who is a prosecution witness, said that the results of her tests revealed "no specific indication" of DNA from either of the accused.

An additional key card for the couple's room was also examined and was found to contain the DNA of Dassen Naraynen, a security guard at the Legend's Hotel who was charged with conspiracy to murder in the days after the killing.

Naraynen is facing a larceny charge in connection with the case in separate court proceedings on Tuesday.

Earlier, a police officer who arrested Avinash Treebhoowoon was reprimanded by the Supreme Court judge.

Under cross-examination, the officer said he "didn't know" why it took nearly three hours to take the accused to a police station.

A defence barrister said the journey from the Legends Hotel should only have taken half an hour.

The officer was questioned for about one and a half hours by a defence barrister.

Asked what police were doing for two and a half hours, between leaving the hotel and arriving at the police station, the officer folded his arms, said he could not remember, adding: "I had no notes."

He was fiercely reprimanded by the judge but folded his arms again, and looked down at his notes.

Image caption Michaela McAreavey was murdered in Mauritius on her honeymoon last year

The judge said: "Let the records show that this witness remains silent."

Mrs McAreavey's widower, John, was due to give evidence at the Supreme Court on Monday but that has now been delayed due to a backlog of witnesses.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that a booklet relating to sexual matters found in Mrs McAreavey's hotel room was an insert from a women's magazine, according to her family.

Michaela, who was the daughter of Tyrone Gaelic football manager Mickey Harte, had bought the Cosmopolitan magazine at the airport.

The court in Mauritius was adjourned for a short time on Friday after heated exchanges between lawyers when the defence team robustly questioned a police officer about the material.

A spokesperson for the McAreavey and Harte families said on Sunday: "Obviously both families are very distressed and dismayed at any attempt to denigrate the memory of Michaela."

They added: "However, they would like to thank the many family, friends and the wider public for their continued support and prayers as they endure this ordeal."

The statement continued to ask for prayers so that John "may be granted the necessary strength" to get through the "difficult and painful days ahead".

More on this story