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Charge ‘dropped’ against ex-hotel worker accused in Michaela McAreavey case

Sandip Moneea, 42 (right), arrives at the Supreme Court in Port Louis, Mauritius (PA)
Sandip Moneea, 42 (right), arrives at the Supreme Court in Port Louis, Mauritius (PA)

The case against a man facing a theft charge related to the Michaela McAreavey murder investigation has been struck out, his lawyer said.

Sandip Moneea, 52, who was previously acquitted of Mrs McAreavey’s murder, was charged earlier this year with conspiracy to commit larceny in relation to the honeymooner’s hotel room in Mauritius.

The 27-year-old was strangled in her room at the Legends Hotel on the Indian Ocean island on January 10 2011.

Michaela McAreavey death
John and Michaela McAreavey (Irish News/PA)

The teacher, who had married John 10 days earlier, was attacked after she returned to her room alone and disturbed a burglary.

No-one has been convicted of murdering the daughter of Gaelic football manager Mickey Harte.

Former hotel worker Moneea, of School Lane, Petit Raffray, had been accused of conspiring with another employee to steal a magnetic key card to the hotel room to commit larceny.

He had denied any wrongdoing.

The provisional charge was struck out at a court hearing on the Indian Ocean island on Tuesday, according to his barrister Neelkanth Dulloo.

The other man charged with conspiracy to commit larceny is former hotel security guard Dassen Narayanen.

Michaela McAreavey case
Former hotel security worker Dassen Naraynen (Paul Faith/PA)

His barrister Vikash Teeluckdharry said a decision on his case was adjourned until July 25.

He said prosecutors only received an evidence file from police on Friday and had requested more time to review it.

Narayanen, 37, from Royal Road, Plaine des Papayes, has denied wrongdoing.

In 2012, Moneea and another man were found not guilty of Mrs McAreavey’s murder after a high-profile trial on the holiday island.

Moneea and his co-accused in the murder trial, Avinash Treebhoowoon, worked as cleaners at the hotel at the time of the killing.

They denied any role in the honeymooner’s murder.