The State of India vs. Richard de Witt (80th hearing)
Released by Vic Groves on Thursday 13th October 2016
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office have confirmed the following in respect of last Monday’s scheduled hearing of the above and about the next scheduled hearing on Friday October 21st.
“Delhi’s contacts have confirmed that the hearing did not go ahead on Monday – because De Witt has not yet appointed a lawyer.
If De Witt still has not appointed a lawyer by the 21st all that will happen is that the judge will postpone the hearing to another date.”
This communication confirms three important points about the trial:
- As was feared, it seems that Richard de Wit is without legal representation. The chances of him appointing a lawyer to represent him from his physical location in Jail combined with his deteriorating mental state of mind are very slim. Without representation of some kind the trial cannot proceed.
- The judge still refuses to use his powers to forcibly appoint a lawyer on Richard de Wit’s behalf. There is no logical explanation for this because it has been put to him on many occasions by all parties, except by the Public Prosecutor himself, that he should do so.
- The fact that it has taken over three days to receive this level of confirmation is a clear indicator of how difficult communications are with Kashmir at this time. There are reports that the civil and political tensions are easing somewhat but this can change quite literally in a flash.
A further update will be release if and when further information is available.