Two cabbies get death term for rape, murder of Australian

August 11th, 2008 - 7:06 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 11 (IANS) Two cab drivers convicted for the rape and murder of Australian tourist Dawn Emilie Griggs in the Indian capital four years ago were Monday sentenced to death by a city court. Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Kumar awarded death sentence to the two drivers - Jyotish Prasad, 28, and Ashish Kumar, in his early 30s.

They were on Aug 2 held guilty of rape, murder, robbery and destruction of evidence under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

During arguments on the quantum of sentence, public prosecutor Vinod Kumar Sharma said: “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.”

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

Opposing the 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.”

However, the court rejected the defence arguments and awarded death to the duo.

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