CBI counsel quits Scarlett murder case

Panaji, Feb 3 (PTI) Trial in the Scarlett Eden Keelingmurder case suffered a setback as the CBI counsel quit fromthe case.

Public Prosecutor S R Rivonkar wrote to the CBIexpressing his desire to quit from the case, claiming that hewould not be able to give enough time for the trial, CBIsources said.

Rivonkar divulged his unwillingness to continue with thecase last month and since then another lawyer has beenassigned the case, they said.

Vikram Varma, counsel of Scarlett''s mother FionaMackeown, said the exit of Rivonkar from the case wasunfortunate.

"The credibility of the CBI cannot be maintained withouteffective prosecutors. But I hope that the CBI replaces himwith an equally competent or better prosecutor," he added.

The British teenager, who was on a holiday to Goa alongwith her mother, was allegedly drugged, sexually abused andleft to die on Anjuna beach on February 18, 2008.

Two locals, Samson D''Souza and Placido Carvalho, arebeing tried in Goa Children''s Court for several offences inthe case.

The court has examined 15 witnesses during the trial,which has been going on for almost a year, including Fiona,who had initiated the campaign seeking justice for Scarlett.

Goa Police initially treated the case as death due todrowning but later initiated murder investigations after Fionarefused to buy the drowning theory.

The state government had to hand over the case to CBIunder immense pressure after the media exposed how the statepolice botched up the entire investigation to protect the drugmafia operating on state''s coast.

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