Eight quizzed over Antigua murders

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The Independent US

Eight people have been arrested in connection with the deaths of honeymoon couple Ben and Catherine Mullany, police in Antigua said tonight.

-They are currently in custody and are being interviewed by officers on the Caribbean island, Inspector Cornelius Charles said.

He said some of them "may be considered suspects" and that more arrests may be made as the day goes on.

The arrests were made last night and this morning local time.

This follows charges brought against two women aged 32 and 22, who appeared before magistrates in the island's capital St John's yesterday charged in connection with the murders, and were remanded in custody.

Police were reluctant to disclose details of the charges, but it is understood they relate to property stolen from the Mullanys' holiday cottage.

Inspector Cornelius Charles, of the island's force, said detectives were following up leads in pursuit of killer or killers.

"After consulting with investigators, it became clear to me that they are pursuing certain technical lines of investigation, which could be severely compromised if too much information is divulged to the public at this stage," he told the Antigua Sun newspaper.

"Very shortly, we will be able to provide more information as it pertains to arrests, but now, for the benefit of the investigation, it is more prudent if the information is kept until those lines of the investigation are fully exhausted."

The Mullanys, from Pontardawe, south Wales, were shot in the head in their cottage at the Cocos Hotel and Resort in Antigua on the last day of their honeymoon on July 27.

The murdered honeymooners were buried in a private ceremony on Wednesday, just one month after saying their wedding vows.

It is believed the ceremony took place at St John the Evangelist Church, in Cilybebyll, where they married on July 12.

The family said plans were being made for a funeral service to allow extended family members, friends and colleagues to pay their respects later this month.

They requested no flowers and said details of a memorial fund would be announced in due course.

Swansea coroner Philip Rogers released the bodies for burial as he opened and adjourned an inquest into the couple's deaths on Tuesday.

The coroner was told that Mrs Mullany, a 31-year-old doctor, died instantly in the shooting and Mr Mullany, a 31-year-old trainee physiotherapist, died a week later at Morriston Hospital, in Swansea.

At the brief hearing, the coroner heard that post-mortem examinations had been carried out and the "provisional" cause of death in both cases was a gun shot wound to the head.

The inquest was adjourned pending the outcome of inquiries by the police in Antigua.

More than 30 people have been questioned in connection with the shootings and a total of eight British officers have flown to Antigua to assist with the investigation.

The island's troubled 350-strong force, which is faced with rising violence, has no computers, no crime database and only one forensics-trained officer.

Detectives from Scotland Yard and South Wales Police have travelled to Antigua to help the inquiry