Michaela’s family launch civil case against newspaper

THE family of Michaela McAreavey, who was murdered while on her honeymoon in Mauritius nearly two years ago, have begun a civil case for damages against a paper which published pictures of her body.

The 27-year-old only daughter of Tyrone GAA Manager, Mickey Harte, was killed at the Legends hotel in January 2011.

The Harte and McAreavey family are suing the Mauritius Sunday Times and its editor for damages believed to be in the region of £300,000.

It is understood to be the first case of its kind against a newspaper in the country.

On 15 July 2012, Mauritian Sunday Times Editor, Imraan Hosany, and the printer, StarPrint, published photos that the family understand were taken by police for investigation and were used in the trial before the court.

The paper’s editor was later arrested and charged with outrage to public and religious morality for publishing the photographs.

He is currently on bail.

The family said the publication of the photos was a reprehensible act and constituted an outrage to the dignity of Michaela.

“By printing, distributing and/or causing to be published these photos of the late Michaela Harte body as taken by the police photographer, defendants had committed a serious and unforgivable faute towards the plaintiffs,” they said in a document submitted to the court in Mauritius.

In July, two hotel workers were acquitted of Michaela McAreavey’s murder.

Detectives in Mauritius started a new investigation the day after the trial ended.