Michaela outburst 'reflects family pain'
The family of Michaela McAreavey has responded to events in court on Monday, after her widower accused a defence lawyer of lying.
Monday, 25 June 2012
A barrister for Avinash Treebhoowoon - one of two men accused of murdering Michaela on honeymoon in Mauritius last year - was outlining how his client was beaten by police when John McAreavey spoke out from an otherwise silent public gallery.
"Lies," he was heard shouting, as the defence case opened on Monday.
A statement later released by the Hartes and McAreaveys described Mr McAreavey's outburst as "uncharacteristic", but said it reflects their feelings during the trial.
It continued: "The remark made by John this morning from the gallery of the courthouse is uncharacteristic but it reflects the frustration and pain felt by both families.
"It has been a very testing and relentless five weeks and the pace of proceedings is tortuously slow. The families ask for continued prayers and support from the public as they endure this ordeal in the pursuit of justice for Michaela."
Treebhoowoon, 31, and Sandip Moneea, 42, deny strangling the 27-year-old teacher in the luxury Legends Hotel on the holiday island last January.
Lawyer Sanjeev Teeluckdharry told the Supreme Court in Port Louis that Treebhoowoon had been wrongly accused of the crime and subjected to torture in order to extract a confession.
He said the police investigation into the killing had been inadequate.
Mr Teeluckdharry added that Mr McAreavey, while answering all questions when he was giving evidence, during cross-examination was evasive and defensive.
He also told the jury judging means dispensing justice, convicting the guilty - and said it also means acquitting the innocent.
Mr Teeluckdharry did not react to Mr McAreavey's interruption, which came at the close of his address.
The lawyer had been telling the court that his client would enter the witness box during the course of the defence case and tell jurors how he was treated by police.
"He will tell you how he was wrongly accused," he said.
"Not only, he will tell you how he was tortured relentlessly by unscrupulous police officers who were in an indecent haste to obtain a confession."
Mr Teeluckdharry repeated some of the allegations which have already been outlined during the high-profile six-week trial.
He said that Treebhoowoon was beaten repeatedly, made to lie naked on a table and had his head plunged into a pail of water during interrogation.
"I have heard his ordeal many times and I must tell you I'm not immune from it," said Mr Teeluckdharry. "I must tell you it's not for the faint-hearted."
It was during that line that Mr McAreavey interjected.
He sat with his sister Claire, father Brendan and brother-in-law Mark Harte in the front row of the public gallery during the 70-minute opening speech.
Treebhoowoon, who worked at the gated beachside resort at the time of the murder alongside his co-accused, is expected to give evidence on Tuesday.