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Covid crisis overwhelms Groves trial

Covid crisis overwhelms Groves trial

Monday 20 July 2020

Covid crisis overwhelms Groves trial


No date has been set for the next hearing in the much-delayed Sarah Groves murder trial, as India continues to record tens of thousands of new corona virus cases on a daily basis.

Dutchman Richard de Wit stands accused of murdering Sarah Groves on a houseboat in Kashmir in April 2013.

The seven-year trial has been beset with delays, many of which, including the non-attendance of witnesses and the absence of other key players, have been without excuse.

However, the most recent postponement has been an enforced one, as Sarah's father Vic explained.

"All efforts to make progress in this trial have been thwarted since Hearing 181 on 28 February. The reasons include the non-appearance of witnesses, security issues and Covid-19.

groves.jpg

Pictured: Sarah's parents Kate and Vic have spent seven years in the pursuit of justice for their late daughter.

"Yesterday’s hearing was unable to proceed because of a recent surge in the number of cases of Covid-19 in Srinagar generally and in and amongst court officials specifically. The Lower Courts have been closed down until further notice and the case could not be taken up."

With hearing 190 now cancelled and hearing 191 currently unscheduled, it places further doubt on the region's ability to conclude the trial in a safe and proper manner. 

Mr Groves said the current delays were "inevitable", as India is recording around 70,000 new cases daily.

No date has been set for the next hearing. 

Pictured top: Richard de Wit stands accused of murdering Guernsey-woman Sarah Groves. 

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