Clothing and weapons seized after Sarah Groves was killed on a houseboat in Kashmir, India were not the same ones that were presented as evidence in court this week.
Senior Police Inspector Bashir Ahmad, who was at the scene following Sarah's death, was highly critical of the key exhibits presented to him when he attended the courtroom in the 160th hearing of the Guernseywoman's murder trial in Srinagar, India.
Pictured: Sarah Groves.
"Mr Ahmad is a key witness due to his detailed involvement at the scene of crime in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy," reported Vic Groves, Sarah's father. "He stated that he had attended court on a number of previous occasions but his evidence had not been heard."
"Despite the passage of time, Mr Ahmad, who was responsible for the seizure of all exhibits to be used in this trial, could remember events remarkably clearly.
"He was highly critical of the condition of the exhibits that were shown to the court. For example, the alleged weapon of offence shown to the court did not have tape strapped to its handle, a clear and distinctive feature of the original weapon seized. This is significant because the police admitted to buying two identical knives from the knife seller at the time for reasons unknown.
Richard de Wit’s defence team objected to the Judge's argument that Urdu should be used in court proceedings instead of English.
"Some of the other items mentioned were Sarah’s personal effects and clothing, but there were inconsistencies. For example, two earrings were listed as seized items but four were presented to court. The condition of some of her clothing did not match the description provided at the time, most specifically in respect of bloodstains."
This has been attributed to floods in September 2014 that inundated the original court complex, including where exhibits were stored.
"It has always been a feature of the trial that many, almost all, of the key exhibits have either been lost of seriously affected by flood damage," said Mr Groves. "For the first time, the true significance of the flood damage and the irretrievable loss of key exhibits is becoming apparent and could have a bearing on the outcome of the trial."
Other concerns that Mr Groves had were the absence of the defence counsel and the new judge’s insistence to conduct proceedings and to produce all official court papers in Urdu, rather than in English. The Judge’s argument is that Urdu is the official language of the court.
Pictured top: Kate and Vic Groves, Sarah's parents.
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