Avinash Treebhoowoon and Sandip Moneea, the two men accused of murdering Michaela McAreavey in Mauritius, have been found not guilty, and I’m not all that surprised. The case against them was shaky, there was no DNA evidence and their claims of beatings while under arrest had a hint of plausibility.
A defence lawyer’s job is to cast as much doubt on the prosecution case as possible, which was exactly what Teeluckdharry and Valayden did. While we all found the cross-examination of John McAreavey both insulting and ludicrous, the fact is that they were doing their jobs to the best of their ability on behalf of their clients. Court cases are a dirty business.
After that incident, I felt that the McAreavey and Harte families would have been better advised to leave Mauritius and have nothing further to do with the trial. When the defence made such a big deal about Cosmopolitan magazine in the hotel room, it was clear that cultural perceprtions would have a part to play in the jury’s decision, and that, combined with the absence of hard evidence connecting the accused to the crime, meant they’d probably be acquitted.
It’s impossible not to feel sorry for the bereaved families now that the prosecution has failed to secure convictions. They must be wondering if they subjected themselves to the ordeal of the trial for nothing, but I don’t think they’re the sort of people who would want the accused men jailed on the basis of unsafe evidence.
What can they do now but try to get on with their lives?
Previously: Murder Trial