State of India versus Richard de Wit (61st hearing)

Released by Vic Groves from Guernsey for immediate use.

Start of media release.

Today represented the 61st occasion on which the court is Srinagar has convened.  It also represented the first occasion on which Mr Tanweer Mir has appeared in court since his re-appointment by the accused, Richard de Wit, earlier this month.

Yet again no witnesses were in attendance despite being summoned.  Police Constable Bashir Ahmed, a police photographer, was scheduled to appear but was called to an emergency at the time and could not attend.  He has been summoned to attend tomorrow’s scheduled hearing.

Before Mr Mir was discharged of his duties as Defence Counsel for the accused in October, he was preparing to recall a number of key witnesses that he had not personally cross-examined earlier in the trial.  The application to recall a number of named witnesses has sat before the court since then with no clear response from the Prosecution.  Following his reinstatement, this application will be discussed at tomorrow’s hearing and a clear result will be announced then.

Sarah’s parents are anxious that these witnesses are recalled and have made provision for representations to be made to the court in full support of the application.  As time goes by more and more evidence comes to light and suspicion falls onto members of the boatowner’s family about their involvement in the crime, including Syed Shoda, Sarah’s ‘boyfriend’ at the time of the tragedy.  What is clear is that they know a lot more than they have admitted to – either in court or outside of it. Unfortunately, all the evidence that has come to light to date is circumstantial.  However, every member of the family lied to the court in their initial cross-examination and a second round will provide the opportunity to test their alibis further.

A further media release will be sent out tomorrow, Tuesday 29th December.

End of media release.

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