Michaela McAreavey: Trial ends over newspaper pictures

A NEWSPAPER editor will have to wait until next month to hear a verdict in his trial over the publication of pictures of Michaela McAreavey’s body.

The 27-year-old County Tyrone woman was murdered at the Legends hotel, Mauritius, in January 2011.

Imraan Hosany, the editor of the Mauritian Sunday Times, is charged with outrage against public and religious morality.

His trial ended on Tuesday at the Intermediate Court in Mauritius.

On 15 July, 2012 The Sunday Times in Mauritius published a dozen pictures showing the crime scene, Michaela’s body and her injuries.

The editor was arrested three days later.

The pictures were published days after the acquittal of two men - Avinash Treebhoowon and Sandip Moneea - for Michaela’s murder.

On Tuesday, Magistrate Wendy Rengan of the Intermediate Court examined the closing arguments of the prosecution and defence.

“The photos published are similar to those taken by the photographer of the scene of crime office (Soco) as part of the police investigation”, the prosecution said.

“A copy of these pictures had been saved on a USB stick that the police had seized during a raid of Sunday Times offices.

“The prosecution has provided enough evidence to establish that there has been violation of human dignity.”

A defence lawyer asked for the case to be struck out.

“The prosecution does not call any witness to support the charge of outrage against public and religious morality,” he told the court.

“Publishing photographs of dead bodies cannot be considered as outrageous.

“After the death of Michaela McAreavey, the trial received a lot of media attention and it was in the interest of the public that the pictures were published”.

Imraan Hosany will have to wait until 29 May for the judgment in the the case.

Michaela was the daughter of one of Ireland’s best known sports figures, Mickey Harte, manager of the Tyrone Gaelic football team.

She had married John McAreavey just 12 days before she was murdered, and was buried in her wedding dress.