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Australia welcomes Staines case verdict

Last updated on: September 22, 2003 21:35 IST

The Australian high commission on Monday welcomed the death sentence given to Dara Singh, the main accused in the killing of Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons, and life imprisonment to 12 other accused.

Staines case: Chronology of events | Complete coverage

The high commission's spokesman told rediff.com: "We appreciate the commitment of the Indian authorities to bring the perpetrators of the crime to justice."

"We also pay tribute to Ms Gladys Staines. She is a remarkable woman who remained committed to the work in India despite the terrible events."

Calling the case 'very important', the high commission had sent an official to witness the announcement of the verdict in the court in Bhubaneswar on September 15.

The court had reserved the announcement of the punishment that day and announced it on Monday.

"We were following the case closely. This was an absolute abhorrent crime. It was recognised widely in India," the spokesman said.

When asked whether the high commission was satisfied with the verdict, he said: "It is for the Indian legal system to decide what sentence to impose under the Indian law to those guilty of this horrendous act."

He refused to comment if it was delayed justice.

In Mumbai, the All India Christian Council has also hailed the decision to award the death sentence to Dara Singh case. The decision is a 'vindication of the faith of the common man and especially of the Christian community in the judicial system', Council general secretary Dr Abraham Mathai said in a statement.

"The common man may be pleased with the fact that all is not lost; and in small measures it is possible to wage a war through the existing political and judicial system against those who threaten to run amok on the brute strength of violence," he added.

More reports from Orissa

Ehtasham Khan in New Delhi/PTI