Placido Carvalho’s acquittal upheld
The High Court of Bombay at Goa on Wednesday convicted Samson D’Souza in the British teenager Scarlett Eden Keeling death case, overturning his acquittal by a trial court.
The High Court, however, upheld the acquittal of Placido Carvalho in the case.
The 15-year-old Scarlet Keeling was found dead at the Anjuna beach on February 18, 2008. Two locals – Samson D’Souza and Placido Carvalho – were accused of leaving her to die after drugging and sexually abusing her.
The Goa Children’s Court had in 2016 acquitted D’Souza and Carvalho.
The High Court convicted D’Souza under Section 328 (administrating stupefying drug with an intent to cause hurt), Section 354 (assault or use of criminal force on a woman with an intent to outrage her modesty), Section 304 (ii) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), Section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code, and for child abuse under Section 8(2) of the Goa Children’s Act.
The order was given via video conferencing.
The High Court’s division bench consisting of Justice Prithviraj Chavan and Justice R D Dhanuka said, “After holding Samson D’Souza guilty of the offences punishable under Sections 328, 354, 304(ii), 201 of the IPC and Section 8(2) of the Goa Children’s Act, the counsel representing Samson D’Souza seeks two days’ time to address on the point of sentence. The special public prosecutor has no objection. As such, case stands adjourned to July 19, 2019 for hearing Samson D’Souza on the point of sentence. Samson D’Souza shall remain present in the court on that date.”
Special public prosecutor E Khan appeared for the appellant Central Bureau of Investigation (special crime branch), Mumbai, while Vikram Varma represented Scarlett’s mother Fiona MacKeown.
The CBI had contended before the High Court that the trial court has erred in evaluating the evidences and testimonies of witnesses.
The Goa Children’s Court had acquitted the two accused in the Scarlett death case.
The CBI had filed chargesheets against D’Souza and Carvalho under Section 304 (II) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), Section 354 (assault or use of criminal force on a woman with an intent to outrage her modesty) and Section 328 (administrating stupefying drug with an intent to cause hurt) of the IPC.
In March 2010, charges were framed against the two accused in the case, and since then the CBI had been trying
to bring prime witness Michael Mannion
alias Mike Masala to India; it was even arranged for Mannion to depose in court on October 15, 2015 via videoconferencing from the UK, but he refused at the last moment.
The prosecution examined 31 witnesses, including Fiona MacKeown during the trial.
After the local police faced criticism for failure to properly investigate the case, the government had handed the case over to the CBI.
The case had drawn the attention of international media due to the outburst of Fiona MacKeown against the government and safety of the tourists in Goa.