Published Thursday, 14 June 2012
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Doctor takes the stand
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The images at Legends Hotel on the island cover a 35-minute period on the day of the crime last January and an hour from the day before.
Giving evidence at the trial, Assistant Commissioner of Police Yoosoof Soopun was asked by a defence lawyer to bring the material to the Supreme Court in Port Louis on Friday.
Defence barrister Rama Valayden, representing Moneea, asked for footage from 2.55pm to 3.30pm on the day of the murder - on 10 January 2011 - and 11am to 12pm the previous day. No other details about the CCTV images were heard in court.
The prosecution claims 31-year-old Avinash Treebhoowoon and Sandip Moneea, 42, murdered Mrs McAreavey at around 2.45pm when she walked in and disturbed them stealing.
Judge Mr Justice Prithviraj Fecknah told Mr Soopun to return to court with the footage in the morning, when it would be broadcast.
"We will make arrangements for projectors and screens to be brought in," said the judge.
Mr Soopun agreed to source the material and, in a subsequent statement, the family of Mrs McAreavey reacted to the decision to show the footage in court
A spokesperson on behalf of the McAreavey and Harte families said:
"The families had hoped not to have made any further comment until the end of the trial. However due to media reporting of CCTV footage recently released, the families feel compelled to speak out and clarify that the couple in the images are definitely not John and Michaela."
Her widower John, brother Mark Harte, father-in-law Brendan and sister-in-law Claire were in court on Thursday, but left as a doctor who examined Mrs McAreavey after her death took the stand.
Dr Sunil Kumar Gungadin told the court that she died "a violent death caused by manual strangulation."
He said he was "not surprised" that samples taken from Mrs McAreavey's body profiled only her own DNA, as traces may have been washed off.
"In my opinion, the body had come out of water and chances of losing genetic material is very high," the doctor said.
When asked about the honeymooner's time of death, Dr Gungadin said he believed it was in a half hour window between 2.30pm and 3pm.
He went on to detail injuries that were compatible with the grip of a hand or the use of a forearm on the murder victim's neck, adding that she would have died within two to three minutes.
The medic said he was 100% sure that no belt could have been used in the death and that she could not have drowned in the bathtub.
Co Tyrone teacher Mrs McAreavey, 27, was found strangled in her room at the exclusive beach side complex.
The former hotel employees deny murdering the daughter of Tyrone gaelic football boss Mickey Harte.