The Principal and Sessions Court, Srinagar, Rashid Ali Dar, on Thursday provided a lawyer to Dutch national Richard De-Wit accused of killing a British woman Sarah Elizabeth Groves, to defend his case.
The court issued directions after the three prosecution witnesses couldn't record statements before it today as the accused had no lawyer was representing the accused.
Advocate Mahira Bhat, from the penal of lawyers, was asked to pursue case of De-Wit. Court further appointed Advocate Mushtaq Ahmad Dar as amicus curiae in the case.
The case was fixed for hearing today and accused was also produced before the court. The three prosecution witnesses were also present before the court.
On April 6, 2013, a British woman tourist was found murdered in a houseboat in Dal lake and police arrested a Dutch national Richard De-Wit saying he was involved in the killing.
A case (FIR 40/2013) under section 302 (murder) of RPC was registered in police station Ram Munshi Bagh here. Police carried out the investigation and filed charge sheet before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar. The Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar committed the case for trial to Principal Sessions Court Srinagar.
Following the submission by the accused, he was provided the copy of charge sheet in English after court directions.
The then Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Srinagar Syed Ashiq Bukhari had said that 43-year-old Richard De Wit was detained by police early in morning after he fled from the New Beauty houseboat on Dal Lake, Srinagar, without his footwear or luggage and carrying just a passport.
"He was intercepted in a taxi in the town of Qazigund, a town 40 miles south of Srinagar," police had said.
According to owner of the houseboat, Abdul Rahim Shoda, Groves had been staying there for the past two months. He had also said the Dutch tourist took an adjoining room on the boat three days ago. Shoda and his family lived alongside the houseboat. Shoda said that Groves was like her daughter. The case was listed for March 29 for hearing.