Mauritius honeymoon murder trial date set

2012-01-11 21:50

Port Louis - Two men accused of murdering an Irish beauty queen while on honeymoon in the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius will go on trial on May 22, Supreme Court Judge Saheda Peeroo said on Wednesday.

Avinash Treebhowoon, 29, and Sandip Mooneea, 41, will face trial for the murder of Michaela McAreavey in January 2011.

McAreavey, a former beauty pageant winner and the daughter of Tyrone Gaelic football boss Mickey Harte, one of Ireland's best-known sporting figures, was strangled in her hotel room.

Police believe McAreavey was strangled after she stumbled in on a burglary upon returning to her chalet at a luxury resort in the north of Mauritius.

The defence is expected to call 25 witnesses, including the widower John James McAreavey, in a trial expected to last until June 1.

The two suspects, who both worked at the hotel where McAreavey was staying, could be jailed for 60 years if found guilty.

Mauritius, a volcanic island surrounded by coral reefs and lagoons, is best known for top-end tourism and as a honeymoon destination.

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