Scarlett Keeling case halted in Goa

Scarlett Keeling case halted in Goa

The trial of two men accused of killing British teenager Scarlett Keeling has been halted for the second time in a week in Goa.

The case was adjourned following a decision by the judge hearing the case that Goa children’s court would start hearing evidence on alternate afternoons from April 5th.

Addressing the media outside the court in Goa’s capital Panjim, prosecutor SR Rivankar said he believed he had a strong case against the two co-accused - Samson D’Souza, 28, and 36-year-old Placido Carvalho.

The local pair are accused of a range of offences, including culpable homicide, outraging decency, grievous sexual assault and destroying evidence.

However, the trial could last for the rest of the year, with as many as 72 witnesses listed to appear.

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Some foreign witnesses likely to give evidence by video link.

Both men have been charged under the Indian Penal Code and the Goa Children’s Act, following the discovery of Ms Keeling’s body in February 2008.

The teenager from Bideford, Devon, was found partially clothed on a beach in Anjuna, with initial investigations suggesting she had drowned.

However, following an international outcry and a vocal campaign for justice from Ms Keeling’s mother - Fiona MacKeown - subsequent investigations suggested the victim had been sexually assaulted and murdered.

Family Holiday

Scarlett and her family were on a six-month holiday in India when the incident occurred.

On the day of her death, Ms Keeling has been left in the care of a 25-year-old tour guide while the rest of her family went travelling.

India’s Central Bureau of Investigation took over the investigation into Scarlett’s death and Mr D’Souza and Mr Carvalho were arrested in March 2008.

Ms MacKeown, 44, did not attend the hearing.

She is due to appear at Exeter Crown Court later this year, accused of falsely obtaining more than £50,000 in benefits.