Petition Launched Seeking ‘Justice For Sarah’

12th February 2018

An online petition, seeking justice for Sarah Groves, has been set up by her family.

The young Guernseywoman died on a houseboat in Kashmir in 2013, after being stabbed 46 times.

The murder trial started almost 5 years ago, and 88 out of the 110 scheduled hearings have made no progress, for a range of different reasons.

15 of the 46 listed witnesses are yet to be summoned, and the end of the trial is nowhere in sight.

Dutchman, Richard de Wit, was arrested immediately Miss Groves’ death, and was charged with murder, but we are told it is far from clear that he is guilty.

The proceeding are currently being held in a second court, under a third judge, the fifth public prosecutor and the fifth defence counsel.

We are told neither side in the case will have any confidence in the eventual verdict, due to the ineffective examination and cross-examination of the main witnesses, of who there is an equal level of circumstantial evidence of association with the crime.

Miss Groves’ family is hoping the petition will encourage the British Government to lodge a formal complaint to the Indian Government, about the unacceptable manner in which the trial is being conducted.

They also hope the authorities in Kashmir will treat the trial with respect, and that all of the main witnesses will be re-called, for cross-examination by a suitably qualifies defence counsel.

Miss Groves’ parents, Kate and Vic Groves, say:

‘The trial started on the 3rd June, 2013. There have been 110 scheduled hearings in the trial, of which about 88 have been absolutely non-events, and the reasons why the court hasn’t convened or heard any evidence are bizarre to say the least, at times. Other reasons, witnesses don’t show up, but they don’t get punished for not showing up, the accused, Richard de Wit, isn’t brought from the jail to the court because there aren’t enough security guards to do it, he’s dismissed his defence counsel four or five times. 

We have tried every other conceivable avenue, and it hasn’t helped in any way. This is one last attempt I think, because, beyond this, we’re out of aces. We’re hoping this reaches government to government level. I think it’s gone beyond the point where the Foreign Office can simply say that they don’t want to interfere with the affairs of foreign state. This is a formal complaint about the way in which the process is being handled.

I hope we reach out to the maximum number of people possible, and that they will sympathise and perhaps empathise with our plight, and show their support for our fight. It’s quality and not quantity I think in this case, because in a way, a petition is really just words, but it’s the reaction that comes behind it that we’re looking for. Who it arouses, who it prods into some level of conscience.’ 

You can find out more, and sign the petition on the Sarah Groves Foundation website.

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