India seeks fair trial for Anand Jon

October 18th, 2008 - 11:30 pm ICT by IANS  

San Francisco, Oct 18 (IANS) Seeking a fair trial for Anand Jon Alexander, India has expressed concern over the manner in which the Indian fashion designer is being tried in California for a number of cases of alleged sexual abuse and rape. “While in no way wishing to interfere with the judicial process, the Government of India is concerned at the lack of adequate information and opportunity to an Indian citizen to defend himself,” Susmita G. Thomas, the Indian consul general in San Francisco, said in a statement.

Thomas called on California’s attorney general Thursday to express the Indian government’s concerns at the publicly reported omissions and commissions in the due judicial process and requested to ensure that Anand Jon, an Indian citizen, was given every opportunity to defend himself to the fullest extent provided under US laws.

The statement noted media reports of judicial proceedings which indicate instances where exculpatory evidence, which justifies or excuses a defendant from alleged fault or guilt, was either destroyed or withheld from Anand Jon.

“Exculpatory evidence, which reportedly have been destroyed and withheld by the State, should be made available to him for a full and fair assessment by the jury and also to the defence without prejudice in the interest of the fair process of law,” the statement said.

Anand Jon, 31, rose to fame in the high fashion industry in the US over the past few years before he was arrested in March 2007 in Beverly Hills on rape and related charges, including committing a lewd act on a child. Many of the charges were dropped by prosecutors as the trial got underway in early September.

Anand Jon has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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