Wednesday, 18th July 2012
When the news came through here to Ireland that the two men accused of murdering Michaela MacAreavey were acquitted there seemed to almost an air of incredulity in the reporting of it. It would appear that the two men had already been tried and acquitted by the public here and to find out that the jury had unanimously brought in a not guilty verdict was somehow impossible. But no matter how much our sympathies were with the family of the murdered woman and in particular with her husband we have to accept that after hearing all the evidence that the jury in their wisdom did the right thing. It might be hard to accept but there is little else to do. It seems that the absence of DNA evidence as well as accusations of police brutality on behalf of one of the accused were two of the main reasons that were given by commentators as reasons why an innocent verdict was brought in. But no member of the jury has as yet come out and said why they brought in the verdict that they did and until then, if it ever indeed happens, we will not know what reasons they had for coming to the result that they did. Obviously for those associated most closely with the trial it is a harrowing time and they have yet to comment fully on what their feelings are. The one that does remain is the fact that a young, newly married woman went on holiday and was murdered.
When the news first broke of what had happened it was almost surreal, something that happened elsewhere to other people. But the unthinkable had happened and the fall out has been immense. Not least for Mauritius itself. The publicity garnered around the world from the murder did not do the country which almost survives on tourism any good. Then the Government and the Ministry of Justice came out and almost staked their reputations on the fact that they had done everything right and that they had gotten the right people for the murder. Now however they have a lot of questions to answer. Here as well in Ireland there have been a lot of questions asked about the case and also the way in which it has been so consistently and almost blatantly reported. Some newspaper commentators have commented on the wall to wall reporting of Michaela MacAreavey's murder with the murder of other women during the same period and asked questions as to why and how so much time and energy has been expended on one case and so little on others. There may be a point to this but it only goes to show that as in life there is inequality so there is in death. It is quite obvious why there has been just so much reporting on the MacArevy case, not only because of who she was but also given the circumstances in which she was killed. It is one of those cases that instantly draws people in and keeps them there. That might not reflect well on those interested in the case but its easily understood in terms of human nature. Now that those two men who were 99% convicted in the court of Irish public opinion have been acquitted there still remains the obvious question. Who did kill Michaela MacAreavey? That there has been this last twist in the tale means that there is so much more to this story. And of course for her family that is not a good thing. To have things prolonged and drawn out like this must be a terrible strain. Whatever they must have believed might happen at the end of this trial it surely must not have been that the men they were told were responsible for murdering Michaela were actually held to be innocent. Then again like the jury deliberations that were held what the MacAreavey family must be thinking can only be supposition at this point. And after the death of Michaela that must be one of the most unfair aspects of this, that the families involved are under so much scrutiny. After undergoing the ordeal of such a long trial, sitting and hearing so much evidence and to still be left wondering what really happened at the end of it must be beyond awful. It is often said that the Law is blind or that Law is reason without passion and that is a good thing, but to standback from that and have to see people go through the whole process only to be left worse off than before. No one is saying that two innocent men should have been convicted but why wasn't the right person or the right people brought before the jury in the first place so that the process of Law could work and Justice be done.
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