SRINAGAR: Richard de Wit, the Dutchman who is accused of murdering a young British woman here in 2013, on Wednesday told a court here that he will plead his case himself and wait to hire a lawyer till the Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s rule “collapses” in the Netherlands.
“As mentioned at last court hearing in 2011, prior to the Kashmiri uprising for the death of Buri (Burhan) Wani, I will defend myself until I can find a lawyer who cares about hum (human) rights (sic),” Richard de Wit submitted in writing before the Principle District and Sessions Judge Srinagar Rashid Ali Dar, conducting the trial.
“Another reason why I wait to hire a lawyer is that the Dutch government of (Mark) Rutte is about to collapse if not already collapsing. One leading minister had to resign due to corruption case and one of his ambassadors had to be suspended because he was involved in a corruption case in China (sic),” he said.
Richard de Wit gave in writing after Public Prosecutor Syed Maqbool Ahmad insisted for it. In the meantime, the court also issued warrants against two policemen, Kuldeep Koul and Bashir Ahmad, and asked them to appear on March 16. On 11 July 2013, the court had directed framing of charges against the 48-year-old Dutch national under section 302 and if found guilty, he faces either death or life imprisonment. He has already been provided English translated copy of the charge-sheet by the prosecution on the directions of the court as he had expressed inability to understand Urdu, the official language of the state in which the charge-sheet and statement of witnesses are normally filed before the courts.
On 3 June 2013, police had filed the charge-sheet before a local court here against him for murdering 24-year-old British tourist—Sara Elizabeth Rose, daughter of Victor Nojail Rose of Royas, UK—inside the houseboat on the Dal Lake on 6 April 2013.
Richard de Wit was arrested from the main town Qazigund when he was trying to escape. After filing a case (FIR No. 40/2013) at police station Ram Munshi Bagh, the police investigation found him guilty of the crime and accordingly filed the charge sheet. (with inputs from Nusrat Sidiq)