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Three months without progress...

Three months without progress...

Friday 01 November 2019

Three months without progress...

It is still unclear how the trial of the man accused of murdering Sarah Groves will continue, with major political changes in Kashmir taking effect.

As of yesterday, the state of Jammu & Kashmir has legally become two separate Union Territories.

However, Miss Groves' family is none the wiser on whether the trial will come to a conclusion under Kashmiri law.

One of the major changes coming into effect today is the replacement of Kashmiri Law with Indian Law for all new cases, but it still hasn't been confirmed how ongoing trials will be handled.

Hearing 171 was due to get underway on Wednesday 23 October but was not able to take place.


Pictured: Kate and Vic Groves.

Although Miss Groves' father, Vic Groves, said there had been "signs that life is beginning to return to normal" in Kashmir, recent violent incidents have resulted in restrictions on the use of mobile phones, SMS texts and the internet to be re-imposed.

"Communications with Kashmir are still broken and it has not been possible to talk with our legal representative," he explained. "However, an email received via his brother confirmed that the case [on 23 October] was not taken up."

Once again the accused, Richard de Wit, was not transferred to the court for the latest hearing.

"The Prison Governor is still under an obligation to explain, via a Show Cause request, why such transfers are not taking place," added Mr Groves. "However, the prosecutor has assured the Judge that Richard de Wit will attend the next scheduled hearing on Thursday 7 November. Such assurances have counted for very little in the past."

If the court does convene next week, it will be the first clear sign of how the trial will continue.

The murder trial has seen no progress since 23 July, when a witness was cross-examined for the defence.

Pictured top: Sarah Groves and Richard de Wit.

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