McAreavey suspects 'tortured'

A man charged with murdering the daughter of one of Ireland's best-known sporting personalities yesterday claimed that police interrogators had held his head in a bucket of water and partially suffocated him with a towel.

The Supreme Court of Mauritius was told by lawyers for Avinash Treebhoowoon that an alleged confession was "extorted from him as a result of violence". Mr Treebhoowoon, 30, and Sandip Moneea, 42, have denied murdering Michaela McAreavey, who was strangled while on her honeymoon at the Legends hotel in January 2011.

Michaela was the daughter of Tyrone gaelic football manager Mickey Harte. He is not attending the trial but Michaela's widower, John McAreavey, is there, along with two family members.

Prosecutors claim the two men, who were hotel employees, killed Michaela when she interrupted them as they searched her room for valuables. When her husband later followed her, he found her lying in a bathtub. He made frantic efforts to revive her but she was already dead.

The trial continues.