Groves Trial Due To Resume
The trial of the man accused of murdering Sarah Groves is expected to continue today.
Richard de Wit – who denies murder – recently said he has a secret he wants to share with Miss Groves’ parents. Vic and Kate Groves have both traveled to Kashmir previously but have not done so recently as the court case is repeatedly delayed.
Sarah Groves died in April 2013. She suffered a number of stab wounds while staying on a house boat in the country. Mr de Wit was arrested soon afterwards but has protested his innocence since then. More recently questions have been raised about his mental health, and at one point the case looked close to collapsing.
Another public prosecutor was recently appointed but the second judge to oversee the case is expected to retire soon.
The most recent statement from the Groves family confirmed more information was forthcoming but further delays are expected in the trial:
Updated information has been received from the new Public Prosecutor, Mr Maqbool, regarding the defendant’s mental health. It has been received via the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London following contact from their counterparts in Delhi.
The judge has directed the Jail Medical Superintendent to submit Richard De Wit’s Mental Status report before the next hearing. If he fails to comply, the Jail Medical Superintendent and the Jail Superintendent must be present at the next hearing.
Mr Maqbool stated that the case cannot move forward until the defendant’s Mental Status report is submitted to the court or until the Jail and Medical Superintendents explain to the court in person the reason behind not submitting the documents.
In April and May 2016, the court heard a series of arguments about the defendant’s mental state. At one time, it looked as if he would be declared ‘unfit to stand trial’ but the judge overruled all applications for this because the defendant refused to allow his medical history to be divulged to the court. The judge had said he would base his decision on those records. In their absence, he allowed the trial to continue.
This has turned out to be an academic decision insofar as no progress has been made in the trial since that date.
The above does, however, imply that the defendant’s mental state will be re-considered. This may have an important bearing on the future direction and duration of the trial as it is known to have deteriorated since last year.
The next hearing date has been set for Thursday 16th February 2017.