German consul general takes serious view of minor’s rape: lawyer (Lead)

November 3rd, 2008 - 11:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Nov 3 (IANS) The German Consul General Walter Stechel has taken a “serious view” of the rape of a minor German girl allegedly by the kin of three Goa ministers and will visit Goa on Sunday to review the probe status, the victim’s lawyer said Monday.The victim’s lawyer also hinted that the state machinery was conspiring to ensure that Education Minister Atanasio Monserrate’s son Rohit was not arrested.

“Mr Stechel has taken a serious view of the case and he is already taking up the matter with the authorities in Delhi,” advocate Aires Rodrigues said.

“There is tremendous pressure on the police from the ruling politicians. Earlier, the police used to claim that they would arrest Rohit immediately after the victim gives her statement. Why are they not arresting him now?” Rodrigues said, speaking to IANS Monday.

After repeatedly maintaining that they would arrest Rohit after the victim’s deposition to a local judicial magistrate, the police controversially allowed Rohit to give his statement to the police a few hours before the victim’s deposition on Saturday.

Rohit was then allowed to leave discreetly. The move smacked of favouritism, Rodrigues said. “Now that we have submitted all the evidence to the police, at least now they should not find reason to delay investigations and arrest not just Rohit Monserrate but others connected to this case,” he claimed.

The other allegedly involved in the rape is Warren Alemao, the nephew of Churchill Alemao and Joaquim Alemao, both ministers in the Goa cabinet.

Rodrigues also slammed the police and the state hospital authorities for treating a minor rape victim with “callousness”.

“The police officer who came to escort the victim to the Goa Medical College for a medical examination, was wearing a uniform. This is against the Goa Children’s Act. According to the Act, police officials dealing with minor victims should be dressed in civvies in order to ensure that the victim is not intimidated,” Rodrigues claimed.

Rodrigues said the examination procedure which was to start at 11 a.m. could begin only at 11.40 a.m. “When we asked the doctor in charge about the delay, Dr Silvano Sapeco lashed out at the German lady and her child, asking them to ‘Shut up’,” Rodrigues alleged.

Sapeco incidentally was suspended by the government for submitting a dubious post-mortem report in the sensational Scarlett Keeling murder case. He was reinstated after a departmental enquiry gave him a clean chit.

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