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    Hotel staff charged with Irish honeymoon murder


    by ODN


    Three hotel workers have been remanded in custody and charged in connection with the murder of Irish honeymooner Michaela McAreavey.

    The murdered newlywed was found strangled in the bathtub of her hotel room in Mauritius with the water still running.

    The Legends Hotel complex employees, aged between 28 and 30, appeared at Mapou District Court in northern Mauritius.

    Police said the two men charged with murder were Abinash Treeboowoon, 29, a room attendant from Plaine des Roches, and Sandip Moneea, 41, a floor supervisor from Petit Raffray. The third man room attendant Raj Theekoy, 33 is facing a conspiracy charge.

    During the hearing they spoke only to confirm their names, addresses and dates of birth.

    The three men have been remanded in police custody for a week and are expected to return to court on January 19, when they will either be formally charged or released.

    Investigating officers say Michaela was having tea with her new husband, John McAreavey, in the hotel restaurant when she decided to fetch some biscuits from their hotel room. On entering she came face to face with at least one attacker who had used a dummy swipe card to gain access to the room, just two minutes earlier. The 27-year-old was attacked and found strangled.

    Superintendent Yoosoof Soopun, who is leading the murder investigation said: "We presume they were inside and burgling the room when the lady returned and were surprised and attacked her."

    Skin tissue was discovered underneath the young teacher's fingernails after she fought for her life.

    Mauritius police have examined CCTV surveillance tapes as part of their case which will be presented at the later hearing.

    Mrs McAreavey's family have arrived in Mauritius to help make arrangements to take her body back to Ireland.

    It is understood the families are hoping to have her body home by this weekend.