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Five years on; the fight for justice continues

Five years on; the fight for justice continues

Friday 06 April 2018

Five years on; the fight for justice continues

Friday 06 April 2018

Sarah Groves was murdered on 6 April, 2013, while staying on a houseboat in Kashmir - five years later her family still don't know who killed her and what led to her death.

Richard de Wit was arrested soon after Miss Groves body was found. She had suffered multiple stab wounds and the Dutch national was charged with her murder, which he denies. He has been in custody in Srinagar ever since but his murder trial has been repeatedly delayed.

So far, there have been 115 scheduled hearings in the trial. During that time the case has been moved to a new court, under a new judge. Both the prosecution and defence advocates have changed and a number of witnesses are still waiting to give evidence and be questioned.

The trial has been postponed numerous times for various reasons, including a lack of defence lawyer, a lack of security personnel available to bring the accused to court, civil unrest in the surrounding areas and heavy rainfall forcing road closures. Important paperwork has also been lost over the last five years.

Sarah groves

Since they were woken early on Saturday 6 April, 2013, to be told their daughter had died, Vic and Kate Groves have fought tirelessly for justice for Sarah, supported by her siblings, their wider family and her friends. 

Most recently a petition launched by the Groves family, calling on the British Government to intervene. The petition is asking the UK's Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson MP, to help the family find "justice for Sarah."

These efforts have not been in vain, with a meeting scheduled between Miss Groves parents and the UK MP responsible for Asia and Pacific Affairs, Mark Field. Last month, Guernsey's Minister for External Affairs, Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, held a successful meeting in London with His Excellency the High Commissioner for India and His Excellency, described as "well connected in Kashmir", has promised to raise the profile of the case through proper channels. 

Groves petition

Other initiatives to raise awareness of the ongoing case over the years have included music videos produced by Miss Groves' brother and her friends. Fundraising events also continue in her name, to contribute to projects supported by the Sarah Groves Foundation which was set up in her memory. 

A new video has also been produced continuing to support the calls for "justice for Sarah" sharing memories of Miss Groves and time she spent with her family and friends. The people behind the video said: "we have created a video to share far and wide to hopefully create the much needed attention and awareness that her ongoing trial so desperately deserves. We ask everyone touched by the fight for justice for Sarah to SIGN & SHARE."

The next scheduled court date in Mr de Wit's ongoing trial is Wednesday 11 April, however Miss Groves' parents feel there is a very real risk the case will collapse and they will never know who killed their daughter or why.

In a statement released after the most recent court hearing, Mr Groves said: "The protracted and farcical nature of how events have played out since then has placed a huge strain on Sarah’s family and friends – and continues to do so with no end in sight. At times spirits may be low but determination to establish the truth has never been higher."

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