Local Goa News

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Scarlett case verdict on September 23

PANJIM: Goa Children’s Court will pronounce its verdict on the 2008 Scarlett Keeling death case on September 23. Two locals, Samson D’Souza, a barman working on a shack and another local Placido Carvalho have been accused of drugging, sexually abusing and leaving the teenage girl to die on Anjuna beach, where her bruised body was found on February 18, 2008.

Goa Children’s Court President Vandana Tendulkar heard final arguments on Wednesday and Thursday. In all 31 witnesses have been examined, including Scarlett’s mother Fiona MacKeown.
The case, initially investigated by Goa Police was later handed over to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) after Scarlett’s family accused the State police of trying to hush up the crime.
CBI Special Public Prosecutor Ejaz Khan based his arguments on the ‘last-seen-theory’ wherein Scarlett was seen with Samson, three hours before her corpse was found. “The accused (Samson) in his statement has not revealed what happened during the three hours after he was last seen with the girl. On the other hand, the accused is trying to deny his presence at the scene,” he stated.
Khan stated that the girl was administered drugs in the shack where Samson was working and Placido was present. “Both the accused should be punished. One committed the offence, and other helped him by hiding it,” Khan argued.
He dismissed the theory that influence played a major role in the investigation claiming that normal people like a barman cannot pressurize CBI which is a national agency of repute. “What benefit will CBI get by entertaining a barman?” the SPP questioned.
Defence lawyer Mervin D’Souza defending Samson said his client was being targeted as he was defenceless. He ruled out Samson’s involvement and alleged that there was interference in the investigation which is evident from the discrepancies in the statement of the witnesses.
“The death of the girl (Scarlett) was accidental. There was interference in the investigation of the case so as to target Samson and second accused Placido,” D’Souza argued.
The lawyer pointed out that in the autopsy, morphine drugs along with cocaine were found in the girl’s body which indicates that she was already intoxicated when she arrived on the shack where Samson was working and Placido was sitting.
D’Souza said the investigating agency was blind to the fact that she was already drugged and failed to probe as to who had administered the narcotics.
He said the forensic examination by experts from Delhi based All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) had proved there was no abnormality in her brain, skull, vagina and heart which proves that there was no scuffle prior to death.
D’Souza said the medical examination on the body conclusively proved that there was no abnormality in her body, which means that it was accidental death.
Advocate Pravin Naik representing Placido, argued that there was no witness on record to state that his client administered drugs to the girl in the shack where she was last seen before her death. He also said that there is nothing on record to prove that Placido provoked her to take drugs.
MacKeown was present on both days of the arguments.

Herald Goa News

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