Srinagar: A local court on Thursday directed Superintendent of Central Jail Srinagar to allow a Dutch national who is in jail for allegedly murdering a young British woman here last year to phone his mother regarding change of his counsel.
The direction by Principal District and Sessions Judge Srinagar, Rashid Ali Dar, followed submission by the Dutchman Richard de Wit that he wanted to change his counsel and should be allowed to contact his mother over phone to discuss the matter.
While allowing his submission, the court also asked the SP jail to facilitate the conversation and file a report about it by next date of hearing in the case.
The court also offered Richard option of “counsel of amicus curie” to defend his case.
Meanwhile, Richard also moved an application before the court, seeking its directions to the jail authorities to allow him to cook food for himself.
To this, Public Prosecutor Abdul Aziz Teeli informed that a report has been sought from jail Superintendent.
He however said that Richard was entitled to whatever was available to him under jail manual and nobody can object to it. He said Richard is provided food from local ‘langer’ as provided under law to any ordinary inmate.
The Dutchman was produced before the court in connection with trial and two prosecution witnesses—Constable Mohammad Hanief from FSL (PCR) and Constable Reyaz Ahmad—were scheduled to depose before it.
Richard was arrested on April 6 last year, only few hours after he allegedly murdered the 24-year-old British tourist, Sara Elizabeth Grooves on a houseboat at Dalgate here.
After finding the blood-spattered body of Sara on the fateful day, police had immediately swung into action and arrested Richard from main town Qazigund in south Kashmir when he was trying to escape. After filing a case (FIR No. 40/2013) at police station Ram Munshi Bagh, the police found him guilty of the crime and accordingly filed the charge sheet.