The prosecutor in the case of two men accused of raping and killing British teenager Scarlett Keeling has resigned.
The body of the 15-year-old, from Bideford, Devon, was found three years ago on Anjuna beach in Goa, India. Samson D’Souza, 30, and Placido Carvalho, 42, have denied sexual assault, outraging modesty and destroying evidence.
A new prosecutor has been assigned, but he has asked for time to consider whether or not to take the case.
The trial, which is being held at the Indian Children’s Court in Goa, has been running for 11 months.
Vikram Varma, the lawyer representing Scarlett’s mother Fiona MacKeown, said S R Rivonkar’s decision to quit was a “setback” which had dampened his hopes of a successful prosecution.
Rivonkar was chosen as prosecuting counsel by India’s Central Bureau of Investigation.
When Scarlett’s body was found in February 2008, police in Goa initially said her death had been an accidental drowning.
However a second post-mortem examination, held at the insistence of MacKeown, found she had been raped and killed. MacKeown, who is still waiting to bury her daughter, she had no specific plans to mark the third anniversary of her daughter’s death on Friday.