Published Tuesday, 26 June 2012
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Former hotel employee Avinash Treebhoowoon was outlining how he claims to have beaten by police the day after the 27-year-old was killed when he became upset.
He says he was stripped naked, continually slapped, kicked and punched and at one point, threatened with a gun by a police officer.
Treebhoowoon maintains he is innocent and only confessed to the murder after days of police torture.
On Tuesday, he broke down as he told of how he was taken to a police cell for the night and ordered to stop crying. He said that he was worried about his family.
The 31-year-old, from Plaine des Roches, told Mauritius Supreme Court that he continually denied knowing anything about the killing, but police insisted that he talk to them.
Along with his co-accused Sandip Moneea, a 41-year-old former floor supervisor at Legends, Treebhoowoon denies murdering Mrs McAreavey.
The only daughter of the Tyrone GAA manager Mickey Harte, she was strangled in her luxury hotel room while honeymooning.
Earlier on Tuesday, Treebhoowoon told the court he was elsewhere in the Legends hotel resort when Michaela died.
He said he had cleaned the deluxe room where the McAreavey couple were staying on the day of the murder.
He was questioned at length about his working day, including discrepancies about the time he had entered the hotel bedroom.
Speaking in his native French Creole, he told the court he left the room at 2.35pm, ten minutes before it is believed Michaela was strangled.
Treebhoowoon said he had been chatting to his co-accused Sandip Moneea and a number of other men. He said they ran to the hotel room and foundMichaela lying on the floor with her husband John screaming by her side.
The defendant told the Supreme Court in Port Louis he left the room - which was number 1025 - and went to room 1023.
"I remembered that I had forgotten to replace the shampoo in room 1023," he explained to the jurors.
On Tuesday morning, there were heated exchanges between defence and prosecution counsel at the outset of his testimony as the state objected to the way lawyer Sanjeev Teeluckdharry was questioning his witness.
Judge Prithviraj Fecknah intervened to request that they calm down.
The judge has now adjourned the court for the day and ordered Treebhoowoon back to the court on Wednesday morning.