State of India versus Richard de Wit (65th hearing)

Released by Vic Groves, Friday 12th February 2016 from Guernsey for Immediate Use

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Today represented the 65th occasion upon which the court in Srinagar, Kashmir has convened to hear the above case.

This report is very similar – almost identical – to the release put out two days ago.

Yet again the purpose of today’s hearing was to establish who the accused, Richard de Wit, had appointed as his lawyer following many weeks without representation during which period no progress in the case itself has been possible.  The last witness was processed on Tuesday 29th September 2015 – four and a half months ago.

Reports coming out of Srinagar on this occasion indicate that the matter has still not been fully resolved in time for today’s hearing but that it will be resolved before the next hearing date of 1st March 2016.  It is understood that a number of Srinagar-based lawyers have been approached and talked to about the possibility of representing Mr de Wit and that a formal appointment will be made within the next two weeks.

At today’s hearing Bart Stapert, a Dutch human rights lawyer, his assistant, Richard de Wit’s mother and his daughter all attended court as well as Richard de Wit himself.

It is anticipated that even if a lawyer is appointed in time for the next hearing, very little if anything will happen in court that day to move the case forward.  The earliest date by which the case can re-start properly and hear witnesses is the middle of March. 

Meanwhile, it is understood that the mental health of Richard de Wit has deteriorated and that there is still a very real possibility that this trial will not run its full course.  The consequences of the accused ‘not being fit to stand trial’ are not clear at this time. 

A further release will be sent out if there are developments on any of the matters referred to above.

For further information, please contact Vic Groves on VicGroves@Outlook.com or on mobile +44 7781 156743.

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