Mauritius hotel valets accused of killing British tourist


Three people including employees of Legends Hotel were on Wednesday accused by the Mauritius police of having killed Michaela Harte, a 27-year-old teacher from Northern Ireland who had come to Mauritius for her honeymoon.

The trio appeared before the court in Mapou district on Wednesday morning.

The young bride who arrived in Mauritius with her husband last week was found strangled in her room on Monday.

This news shocked the tourist island of Mauritius, while carried in the newspaper headlines of Northern Ireland and in the BBC news.

This is the first time that a tourist has been attacked in a Mauritian hotel.

The country’s Tourism Minister Nando Botha has been engaged in a campaign to promote Mauritius as the best tourist destination. He spoke on British radio stations to reassure those who were on vacation that their security was guaranteed.

The victim was a daughter of a manager of one of the most famous football clubs in Northern Ireland.

The couple had first had their stop in Dubai after the Dec. 30 wedding held in Ireland. They were expected to stay at Legend Hotel until Jan. 15.

On Monday, the couple spent the afternoon near the swimming pool and then they went to the restaurant. After this, the woman went to get some biscuits from her room. It was around 3:30 p.m..

In about 10 minutes, her husband, John McAreavey, 30, went to look for her, but did not find anyone. He then called at the reception

When the hotel staff came around, they found Harte lying on her back with her face looking on the ground in the bathtab of her room.

The husband was supposed to be interrogated as the first suspect, but he was later released. The investigators then had to think of other reasons as to why this crime was committed. They figured out that probably some theft was going on in the room.

Ten hotel employees were picked up for interrogation and three of them were thought to be the main suspects.

It was discovered that the victim’s door number 1025 was opened with different magnetic cards on Jan. 10.

Police sources indicated that the door was opened on the same day at different time intervals before the young bride finally opened with her own card.

The door was first opened at 2:10 p.m. by a spare card. The door was then opened at 2:42 by a card reserved for the hotel supervisor. Two minutes later at 2:44 p.m., the client’s card was used to enter the room.

Detectives from the Major Crimes Investigation Division also discovered that the room’s secret cash drawers were opened. Investigations are still going on and the police are yet to establish who accessed the room at different time intervals.