Hannah Foster murder accused is lying to court: prosecutor

November 15th, 2008 - 3:39 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Nov 15 (IANS) The man accused of raping and murdering British teenager Hannah Foster used a string of lies to “explain away” the evidence against him, prosecutors say.Maninder Pal Singh Kohli, who denies the murder, told Winchester Crown Court Thursday he was abducted and forced to have sex with a girl he now knew was Hannah in revenge for an unpaid debt.

Kohli was arrested in India’s Darjeeling district in 2004 and extradited to Britain last year to stand trial for the 2003 rape and murder of 17-year-old Hannah Foster in the city of Southampton.

The prosecution told Kohli in court Friday his story was concocted, adding he was “calm, smug and couldn’t give a monkey’s”.

Prosecutor Nicholas Haggan said: “You have told the jury what you did to Hannah but you substituted yourself instead of her.

“You have put yourself in Hannah’s shoes and you have told the jury what happened to Hannah happened to you.

“You have had five-and-a-half years to think of a story and you have learnt it line by line.”

Kohli replied: “You are trying your skill against a man who has been in prison for something he didn’t do.”

The 41-year-old father of two claims he owed 16,000 pounds to a colleague with whose wife he was having an illicit affair. When the colleague asked to be paid back, Kohli said he threatened to publicise the alleged affair.

Both the colleague and his wife deny any affair.

Kohli, who denies rape, kidnap, false imprisonment and murder, said the colleague then took revenge by having him kidnapped and forcing him to have sex with a woman whom he now identifies as Hannah.

Dismissing Kohli’s version of events, prosecutor Haggan said the former sandwich delivery-man had gone “cruising” in his van the night Hannah disappeared to look for a student to rape.

“You thought, because you were off to India in a week or two, you might be able to take a bit of a chance,” Haggan said.

The case continues.

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