With the counsel for the Central Bureau of Investigation S R Rivonkar quitting from the case mid-way through its trial, the Scarlett Eden Keeling trial received a major setback.
Mr. Rivonkar in his letter to the CBI said he will not be able to continue with the case as he is not able to give sufficient time for it. Speaking to media persons when the trial began in March 2010, Mr. Rivonkar had said he would try to complete it by the end of the year. However till date only 15 of the 72 witnesses are examined and the dragging of the case has apparently prompted the advocate to withdraw from it.
Scarlett, a British teenager was found dead on the Anjuna beach on 18th February after she was allegedly drugged and sexually abused the previous night when her mother was away in Karnataka and she was kept in the custody of a family friend.
Two persons – Samson D’Souza and Placido Carvalho – are undergoing trial in this murder that hogged international headlines.
The trial has had its dramatic moments, with the Defense Lawyers raising various objections and Scarlett’s mother Fiona Mackeown casting aspersions on the investigating agency.
Fiona’s advocate Vikram Varma termed this development as “unfortunate” and hoped the new counsel appointed will do a good job if not better.
It may be recalled that the police had initially registered Scarlett’s death as “unnatural” and a murder case was registered only after her mother raised various issues and refused to take possession of the body.
Investigations in the case were handed over the CBI after it was established that the Goa Police had botched the case amidst allegations that the same was done to protect the drug mafia operating in the State.
In fact, Fiona was the first to name Home Minister Ravi Naik’s son Roy Naik as a protector of the drug mafia in Goa long before Lucky Farmhouse, noted drug dealer Yaniv Benaim alias Atala’s ex-girlfriend revealed that Roy met Atala frequently.
Fiona had earlier expressed her doubts about the CBI investigations in her daughter’s murder case and said that the agency’s failure in the Arushi murder case had eroded her faith in the agency even though it was touted to be the premier investigating agency in India.