Death demanded for killer cabbies of Australian tourist

August 4th, 2008 - 10:14 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 4 (IANS) Two cab drivers who have been convicted for killing Australian tourist Dawn Emilie Griggs here four years ago deserve the death penalty as their offence was a “stigma” to the country, the prosecution told a city court Monday. “Both convicts not only murdered a foreign tourist, but also killed the trust of a foreign nation. The offence is a stigma on the country,” public prosecutor Vinod Kumar Sharma told Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Kumar.

Jyotish Prasad, 28, and Ashish Kumar, in his early 30s, were Aug 2 held guilty of gang rape, murder, robbery, destruction of evidence and common intention under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Griggs, 59, who landed here from Hong Kong on a Cathay Pacific flight in the wee hours of March 17, 2004, for a meditation course, took a pre-paid taxi from the India Gandhi International Airport and was later found murdered in a nearby deserted field.

The court, after hearing partial arguments from both sides, said it would Tuesday pronounce the quantum of sentence, which may range from life imprisonment to death penalty.

Opposing prosecutor’s plea, defence counsel Vikas Arora said: “Different parameters cannot be applied just because a foreign national was killed. In a case based on circumstantial evidence, death penalty cannot be awarded.”

Another defence counsel B.S. Chaudhary, arguing on behalf of Ashish Kumar, said: “The case did not fall under the rarest-of-rare category and life term be awarded to the convicts.”

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