Mauritius editor faces jail over honeymoon murder photos
Editor convicted of 'causing outrage' after publishing crime scene photos of Michaela McAreavey murder
A MAURITIUS newspaper editor who published graphic photos of the body of Michaela McAreavey, taken following her murder in January 2011, was convicted today of causing outrage to public and religious morality.
Imran Hosany, editor of the Mauritius Sunday Times, who fainted in court when he was first charged last year, was told by the magistrate that he had violated human dignity in his bid "to cater to morbid curiosity". He faces a year in jail when he is sentenced tomorrow.
Michaela McAreavey and her husband, Gaelic footballer John McAreavey, were honeymooning in Mauritius when she was strangled to death in her room at the Legends Hotel. Her husband found her body lying in the bathtub, half an hour after she had failed to return to the restaurant where he was waiting.
Michaela, a 27-year-old teacher, and daughter of Tyrone manager Mickey Harte, was buried in her wedding dress at the same Ballygawley church where she had celebrated her wedding less than a month earlier.
On 15 July last year, the Sunday Times – no relation of the British title - published a photograph of Michaela's dead body on the front page along with other crime scene photos.
Hosany was arrested three days later. He denied the charge of causing outrage to public and religious morality. The local journalists' union came to his defence, according to the BBC, arguing that the press "regularly show" similar pictures and that the police treatment of Hosany was "disproportionate to the offences charged".
The photos had been taken in the course of the police investigation by Pc Harris Jeewooth. How the photos reached Hosany on a USB stick found by police remains a mystery – as does the murder itself.
Two hotel workers, Sandip Moneea and Avinash Treebhoowoon, originally suspected of killing Michaela, were acquitted last summer. No other people have been charged. The Legends Hotel has since been renamed the LUX Grande Gaube .
Hosany has announced that he will appeal.