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"Lack of progress is now reaching epidemic proportions"

Tuesday 03 December 2019

"Lack of progress is now reaching epidemic proportions"


"The Kashmiri authorities continue to demonstrate a complete lack of respect for this trial, now in its seventh year," is the damning verdict of Sarah Groves' father as her family face another Christmas without seeing justice for her.

His most recent update to the media, contained nothing positive despite assurances from the Kashmiri authorities earlier this year that the trial would progress.

However, since the State of Jammu & Kashmir collapsed and was put into a state of limbo, the trial of Richard de Wit, who denies murdering Miss Groves, has not moved forward at all.

He was due in court on Saturday, 30 November, for what was the 174th scheduled hearing in his murder trial.

However, before the hearing was even due to start, the Groves family had been told that the Judge appointed to the case would be on leave and that the case would be re-assigned to the Additional District Court on this occasion.

The trial then faced another setback, as even though Mr de Wit was brought to court, none of the witnesses were there to be cross examined, so the court could not convene to hear the case.

Groves.jpg

Pictured: Sarah Groves' parents, Kate and Vic Groves. 

Mr Groves said the family had previously been told that "theoretical steps" had been taken at the last hearing "to prevent this from happening".

"Here we are effectively at the end of another year," said Mr Groves, "and the same fatuous reasons for a complete lack of progress manifest themselves time after time after time."

Having grieved for their daughter for six and a half years without any sign of seeing justice for her, Mr Groves referred to the recent high profile murder trial of a man found guilty of killing another British woman abroad. 

Grace Millane died in New Zealand when her 'Tinder date' strangled her during sex and then buried her body in a suitcase. His recent trial saw devastatingly personal details exposed in front of her parents and the world's media, but it ended in his conviction.

Almost seven years after his daughter was stabbed multiple times, Mr Groves said his family are still no closer to finding out what happened to her, or who killed her. 

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Pictured: Grace Millane. 

"What a contrast this is to the recently concluded trial in New Zealand of the man found guilty of the murder of Grace Millane," said Mr Groves. "Grace was murdered on 1st December 2018 and the trial was completed on 23rd November 2019 – less than 12 months from start to finish. Throughout, the New Zealand authorities have displayed compassion, determination and efficiency not remotely in evidence here.

"The Kashmiri authorities continue to demonstrate a complete lack of respect for this trial, now in its seventh year.

"This lack of progress is now reaching epidemic proportions and renewed efforts must be taken to pressurise the authorities to bring the trial to a conclusion. Due to the political changes that are taking place in Kashmir, under which attempts are being made towards greater integration with mainstream India after more than 70 years of holding Special Status equivalent to semi-independence, there is much more direct rule from the Modi Government in Delhi. Hopefully, we can persuade them to influence matters more effectively than the Kashmiri authorities have ever been able to do themselves."

Mr Groves has been told the next scheduled hearing date is Thursday December 19, 2019.

Pictured top: Sarah Groves, who died in April 2013, and Richard de Wit, who denies killing her 

 

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