Scarlett rape, murder trial to begin

March 19th, 2010 - 4:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, March 19 (IANS) The much-awaited trial into the rape and murder of 15-year-old British teenager Scarlett Keeling will begin April 5 with the examination of 10 witnesses.
The Goa Children’s Court (GCC), where the case came up Friday, set the date.

GCC president B.P. Deshpande said the first set of 10 witnesses would be examined by the prosecution on the appointed date.

Public prosecutor S. Rivonkar, counsel for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), had said 72 witnesses would be examined during the trial as far as the prosecution was concerned.

Scarlett’s mother, Fiona McKeown, had alleged shoddy work by the Goa Police. The CBI, which then probed the case, named two beach shack workers — Samson D’Souza and Placido Carvalho — as the main accused.

In its chargesheet filed in October last year, the investigative agency had booked the duo under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including for culpable homicide not amounting to murder as well as assault and under two sections of the Goa Children’s Act.

Scarlett’s half-naked body was found at Anjuna beach in February 2008. The police earlier tried to dismiss the case as a suicide. But her mother’s subsequent campaign for justice had attracted international spotlight and exposed Goa tourism’s ugly underbelly.

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