McAreavey trial told Sandip Moneea was not in couple's room

BBC reporter Natasha Sayee sent this report from Mauritius

One of the two men charged with murdering Michaela McAreavey told police that he was not in her hotel room before the alarm was raised.

The trial in Mauritius has heard Sandip Moneea's account of what happened through a series of statements he made to police after his arrest.

Mrs McAreavey, a 27-year-old school teacher from County Tyrone, was found dead in her suite in January 2011.

Mr Moneea, 42, and his co-accused, Avinash Treebhoowoon, 30, deny murder.

The jury heard that Mr Moneea was a former floor supervisor who had worked at the Legends hotel since 2004.

He was in charge of inspecting the work of cleaners, including that of Mr Treebhoowon.

Mr Moneea was questioned by detectives on the day after the murder and made five statements

He told police that Mr Treebhoowon had cleaned nine rooms and that he (Mr Moneea) had carried out a spot inspection of one of them, room 1031.

The room is in the same block as the McAreaveys' suite, room 1025.

However, in his statements, Mr Moneea emphasised on a number of occasions that he was not in the couple's hotel room before the murder.

He said he passed their suite after 15:15 (MUT) and saw the hotel manager trying to revive Mrs McAreavey.

He said he then called the operator to ask for a doctor to come quickly before he was told to leave.

He added that he later found out that the woman had died but said he did not how she had been killed.

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