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Groves trial faces further setbacks

Groves trial faces further setbacks

Wednesday 10 July 2019

Groves trial faces further setbacks

The Groves family lawyer in Srinagar is challenging a decision recently made to hear the trial of the man accused of murdering their daughter solely in Urdu, rather than in English as previously agreed.

While English is not the first language of the court officials, it had previously been decided to hear the trial in English to enable more people to understand proceedings, including the man accused of killing Sarah Groves, who is Dutch.

The hearing, listed as the State of Jammu & Kashmir v Richard de Wit, convened this morning (Wednesday 10 July) but no progress was made in the trial due to civil unrest in the area overnight. 


Pictured: Kate and Vic Groves, Sarah Groves parents. 

Miss Groves father, Vic Groves, was told the 161st scheduled hearing in the trial saw no progress made as the 27th witness, who was due to be cross examined today, couldn't get to court.

Sub-Inspector Bashir Ahmad is now due to give evidence tomorrow, where he is likely to be questioned by the defence, having been examined by the prosecution at the last hearing held on 29 June.

While he couldn't get to court today, neither could the defendant as under-trial prisoners were not brought to court due to the civil unrest.

Mr Groves has also been told that while a replacement Prosecutor for the case has still not been appointed, Mr Mohammad Sultan had remained in post for this hearing although he was not required. The defendant's new defence counsel led by Advocate Yawar Khan, was present at court today, but was not required either.

Sarah groves Richard de wit

Pictured: Richard de Wit, during a previous court hearing. 

When the court reconvenes tomorrow, the Judge will consider a letter which has been sent to him asking him to reconsider his decision to conduct proceedings and to issue papers solely in Urdu.

Mr Groves statement said; "In the early days of the trial it was agreed, almost certainly by an order of the court, to use English as the first language (as is standard practice in the High Court and the Supreme Court).  In the lower courts it is at the discretion of the Judge."

While that decision has been overturned, it's hoped it will now be reversed. 

Mr Groves is also hopeful Mr Ahmed will appear in court tomorrow, and the Judge has also been urged to recall the boatowner and all members of his family for further cross-examination.

Tomorrow morning's meeting between the Judge and the Groves' family legal representative will consider all of those points, ahead of tomorrow’s scheduled hearing.

Pictured top: Sarah Groves and the man accused of murdering her, Richard de Wit. 


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