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Scarlette murder case falling apart

September 25, 2008 15:29 IST

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The prosecution's case in the British teenager Scarlett Eden Keeling's death seems to be falling apart with both the accused out on bail.
       
In both the cases, Goa [Images] Children's Court while pronouncing the bail order has mentioned that there is no material on record to prove their involvement in the crime.
       
British teenager Scarlett's semi-nude corpse was found on Anjuna beach on February 18. The police during the investigations, which were marred with severe controversies, had nailed two accused Placido Carvalho and Samson D'Souza.
       
While Placido had allegedly snorted cocaine with Scarlett, British eye witness Michael Mannion had confirmed that Samson was seen with the deceased, few hours before her dead body was found.
       
The case was chargesheeted with Goa Children's Court as Scarlett was a minor.
       
Scarlett's family unhappy with the Goa police's investigation have demanded enquiry by federal agency in the matter. After initial reluctance, Goa's Home ministry had handed over the investigations to Central Bureau of Investigation on June 9.
       
"There was a gap for almost 75 days when the case was being handed over to CBI and investigations had come to a standstill. Lot of witnesses had vanished from the scene which made CBI's task more difficult," Vikram Varma, counsel for Scarlett's mother Fiona Mackeown, commented.
       
Although Goa Chief Minister Digamber Kamat, on the floor of the State Legislative Assembly, had announced handing over the case to CBI on March 24, the case was formally handed over in the first week of June, the lawyer noted.

"For homicide, the investigations are based on the fact and facts are vital evidences," Varma added.
       
The lawyer refuses to admit that the case has fallen apart.
       
"It's a temporary setback. I have full faith in CBI and country's judiciary," he said.
       
Interestingly, the police claim about having enough evidences to book the accused have been unfound during the court's arguments as in both the cases, the judge have ruled in favour of the accused.
       
Goa police, who had investigated the case right from its beginning and after much public and media pressure booked two accused, refuses to bear the onus.
       
"We had not represented in the Samson's bail case. If it's a prosecution failure than it is for CBI to answer," a senior police official remarked.
       
Police say that CBI investigations have not revealed anything more than what Goa police had found out.
       
Superintendent of police (North) Bosco George, when questioned refused to comment on the issue saying that it is CBI which will react.
       
Another senior official, however, justified that the bail was given as Samson and Placido would not run away from the country and tamper with witnesses or destroy any evidences.
       
Advocate Peter D'Souza, who represented Placido Carvalho in the bail petition, said that there are no evidences against the accused. D'Souza has moved discharge petition on behalf of Placido.
       
Even as CBI continues the investigations seven months after the offence, Fiona's lawyer Varma has expressed his apprehensions. "Accused jumping bail and parole is a common factor and it would certainly be a major setback for the case if it happens," he said.




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