Two found innocent in Mauritius honeymoon murder

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 12, 2012 11:26 AM

PORT LOUIS (Reuters) - Two men accused of murdering an Irish woman while she was on honeymoon on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius were found not guilty, the trial judge said on Thursday.

Michaela Harte, the 27-year-old daughter of Gaelic football manager Mickey Harte, was found strangled during her honeymoon at the Legends Hotel in the village of Grande Gaube in January 2011.

The accused, Avinash Treebohun and Sandip Moonea, worked at the hotel.

Justice Prithviraj Fecknah who presided over the high profile case which lasted eight weeks said jurors had returned a not guilty verdict.

"The truth triumphed," one of the accused, Treebohun, said.

Harte's husband, John McAreavey, who appeared as a witness in the case, traveled to Mauritius with his father Brendan, sister Claire and brother-in-law Mark Harte for the trial.

Gaelic football is Ireland's national sport and one of its most popular spectator activities. Its players enjoy the kind of celebrity status accorded to soccer stars in other European countries.

(Reporting by Jean Paul Arouff; Editing by Duncan Miriri and Sophie Hares)