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Still no news as local figures rally behind Groves

Still no news as local figures rally behind Groves

Wednesday 07 August 2019

Still no news as local figures rally behind Groves

Sarah Groves family are receiving support from local politicians and representatives as it remains to be seen what effect the dissolution of Kashmir will have on the trial of the man accused of killing her.

The 166th scheduled court date in the case of the murder of 24-year-old Miss Groves was cancelled yesterday amid a huge constitutional crisis.

Two court dates in a row have now been cancelled as a result of the abolition of Articles 370 and 35A from the Indian government, signalling the end of the State of Kashmir - a northern Indian territory. 

The case of The State of Kashmir vs Richard de Wit is therefore under a significant amount of uncertainty. Mr De Wit has been held in custody for six-and-a-half years with the trial facing a string of setbacks during that time. He denies stabbing the young woman to death on a houseboat in 2013. 

The latest update released by Vic Groves - Sarah's father - confirms the ongoing ambiguity of the case. 


Pictured: Vic and Kate Groves talking to Express earlier in the year about their plight. 

"The hearing did not take place due to the current political turmoil in Kashmir and contact has still not been possible with any contacts in Kashmir, including our legal representative, due to the on-going lock-down status.  The communications blackout, which covers all media types, is classified by the Indian Government as ‘indefinite’.  

"The Foreign Office have responded to a request for guidance stating that they are also unclear about the future status of the trial and when (or if) it can move forward.  A further update has been promised from them as soon as further information is to hand," he said. 

Yesterday former Chief Minister Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq said he had taken time out from annual leave to talk with the family and lend his support. 

"Having picked up the BBC international news yesterday I got in touch with Vic and Kate Groves last night. I’ve also instructed a member of my External Affairs staff team to find out more details of what this means for the trial from the FCO and to engage with the newly appointed High Commissioner in London. 

Jonathan Le Tocq

Pictured: Deputy Johnathan Le Tocq who was Chief Minister from 2014. 

"I remain committed to do everything in my power to assist the Groves family in seeking a fair trial and ultimately justice for Sarah," he said. 

Chief of Staff and ADC to His Excellency Vice Admiral Sir Ian Corder the Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey, Marco Ciotti, echoed the sentiment. 

"The Lieutenant-Governor is watching developments in Kashmir and continues to have the deepest sympathy for the Groves family and the difficulties they are facing. However, the UK Foreign Office remains the best authority through which this matter should be pursued," he said. 

Pictured above: The accused Richard de Wit (left) and murdered Guernsey resident Sarah Groves. 

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