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Scarlett Keeling rape and murder case: Goa court acquits 2 accused men

The Goa Children’s Court on Friday pronounced a shocking verdict in the 2008 rape and murder case of 15-year-old British teenager Scarlett Keeling by acquitting accused men.

By: | Panaji | Updated: September 23, 2016 4:46 PM
The Goa Children’s Court on Friday pronounced a shocking verdict in the 2008 rape and murder case of 15-year-old British teenager Scarlett Keeling by acquitting accused men. (Reuters) The Goa Children’s Court on Friday pronounced a shocking verdict in the 2008 rape and murder case of 15-year-old British teenager Scarlett Keeling by acquitting accused men. (Reuters)

A Goan Court on Friday acquitted the two men accused of the 2008 rape and murder case of Scarlett keeling. Keeling was a British teenager was on a visit to India in 2008. Her mother Fiona MacKeown, who had waited 8 years for justice was visibly shocked at the verdict. In one of the most shocking Verdicts’s the Children’s court of Goa acquitted Samson D’Souza and Placido Carvalho, the two men accused of the charges of rape and murder of the 15-year-old Scarlett Keeling.

Kneeling was raped and left injured on the Anjuna beach on February 18,2008 by two helpers on the beach shack, who had reportedly spiked her drinks. She had succumbed to death due to her injuries. Her body was found in a semi-nude condition on the beach the next day.

The victim’s mother Fiona MacKeown is reportedly considering to appeal the verdict. Talking to the media she said that she was very disappointed with the verdict and will definitely move to a higher court.

The trial for the Kneeling case had started back in 2010 and has seen the examination of nearly 70 witnesses over a period of 6 years. MacKeown had earlier time and again alleged a co-cordial partnership between the police and the government in Goa, which tried to silence the voices concerning the murder of her daughter.

She had even accused the former Home Minister Ravi Naik and his son of the drug trafficking in Goa. she had also accused the father-son duo of influencing various events of allowing those responsible for Scarlett’s murder to roam free.

The Goan Police was later forced to hand over the case to the CBI, which had eventually filed the charge sheet against the two accused.

Prior to the pronouncement, the victim’s mother Fiona Mackeown today thanked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for its probe into the matter and expressed hope that the perpetrators are brought to book.

MacKeown, who was presently in Panaji to attend the final hearing in the case, had expressed hope in the Indian judiciary and showered praise on the CBI for its efficient handling of the matter.

“I think they (CBI) have done their best… Everything was so diluted because of the delays…I think they have done everything they can,” she added.

The 52-year-old British national further said that she would not have come back if she had no faith in the Indian judicial system.

“I am glad there is a female judge and I think that makes a difference for me and the CBI has done everything they can,” she added.

Meanwhile, the victim’s lawyer Vikram Varma also lauded the CBI and said the matter based on evidence available and eyewitnesses appears to be an absolute case of culpable homicide.

“We are hoping for a verdict (in our favour) and there is a possibility that along with the verdict, if they are guilty, we may have sentencing also today,” Varma said.

“There have been problems in matters of homicide or culpable homicide. The court needs irrefutable evidence and when the evidence is destroyed by the accused or corrupt police officers then the court is always in dilemma on what basis there should be a conviction,” he added.

Stating that the CBI has done its best to gather whatever evidence was available, Varma said, “It is up to the court now to make a decision and based on this evidence is the absolute case of culpable homicide and probation of narcotics and the five sections of law for which the accused have been held.”
The matter will be taken up for hearing at 2: 30 p.m. today.

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