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Scarlett Keeling murder: Goa court acquits accused; 'shocked', says mother

Updated: Sep 23, 2016 16:09 IST      
Scarlett Keeling murder: Goa court acquits accused; 'shocked', says mother

Panaji (Goa) [India], Sept. 23 (ANI): As the Goa Children's Court on Friday acquitted both the accused in the 2008 Scarlett Keeling murder case, her mother Fiona Mackeown said she was shocked by the verdict as she was hoping for a "guilty verdict".

"I was hoping for a guilty verdict, I didn't have this expectation and I am still shocked," Mackeown told reporters outside the court.

Vikram Verma, the victim's lawyer, however, said, "They stand acquitted of all the charges and the judgment was not ready, it is being still typed that's what the judge has informed. We will have to look into ingredients of the judgment."

Earlier, when Mackeown arrived at the court before the pronouncement of judgment into the murder case her 15-year-old daughter, she thanked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for its probe into the matter and expressed hope that the perpetrators are brought to book.

MacKeown had expressed hope in the Indian judiciary and showered praise on the CBI for its efficient handling of the matter. "I think they (CBI) have done their best... Everything was so diluted because of the delays.I think they have done everything they can," she added.

The 52-year-old British national further said that she would not have come back if she had no faith in the Indian judicial system.

"I am glad there is a female judge and I think that makes a difference for me and the CBI has done everything they can," she added.

Meanwhile, the victim's lawyer Vikram Varma also lauded the CBI and said the matter based on evidence available and eyewitnesses appears to be an absolute case of culpable homicide.

"We are hoping for a verdict (in our favour) and there is a possibility that along with the verdict, if they are guilty, we may have sentencing also today," Varma said.

"There have been problems in matters of homicide or culpable homicide. The court needs irrefutable evidence and when the evidence is destroyed by the accused or corrupt police officers then the court is always in dilemma on what basis there should be a conviction," he added.

Stating that the CBI has done its best to gather whatever evidence was available, Varma said, "It is up to the court now to make a decision and based on this evidence is the absolute case of culpable homicide and probation of narcotics and the five sections of law for which the accused have been held."

The British teenager was raped and murdered on Anjuna beach in Goa in 2008. Two beach shack workers, Samson D'souza and Placido Carvalho, had been accused of sexually assaulting her after giving her a cocktail of drugs and leaving her unconscious in the shallow waters.

Her body was found in the early hours of February 19, 2008. (ANI)

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