The trial in the killing of British national Danielle MacLaughling will commence in South Goa district court tomorrow beginning with the examination of a witness who had first seen the deceased body.
The 28-year-old British woman was found dead on an isolated stretch between Agonda and Canacona beaches in South Goa on March 14, 2017.
The British national, of Irish origin, was holidaying in Goa when she was killed.
Vikat Bhagat (23), who police claimed had previous cases against him, was arrested for the crime under relevant sections of the IPC relating to murder, rape, theft and destruction of evidence.
Bhagat, who was chargesheeted in June, 2017, is currently imprisoned at Colvale Correction Facility in North Goa, police said.
“The trial in the case would begin tomorrow before South Goa District Judge Sayonara Telles,” said advocate Vikram Varma, who will be assisting the Assistant Public Prosecutor D J Costa in the case.
Varma represents the deceased’s mother, Andrea Brannigan, who had moved an intervention petition before the court to allow her, through her lawyer, to assist the prosecution in the case.
Advocate A Moniz will represent the accused.
“The first batch of five witnesses will be examined during the trial?s initial phase. Among them, Prashant Komarpant, who was the first to see the body of deceased lying at an isolated spot, would be examined tomorrow,” Varma said.
Komarpant, an agriculturist, had told the police that he was passing by that side when he saw the body of the woman with her face smashed, Varma added.
According to the charge sheet, Bhagat tried to force himself on the woman at an isolated place between the Canacona and Agonda beaches.
When she resisted, he hit her on the head with a beer bottle, raped and then strangulated her, the charge sheet states.
It adds that the accused then smashed the victims face with a stone to destroy evidence.
Police examined 68 witnessing in connection with the case.
(Photo courtesy Google/Daily Mail)