By Aqib Ahmad
SRINAGAR: A court here on Thursday appointed amicus curie and defence counsel as three prosecution witnesses could not depose in absence of lawyer representing Richard de Wit, the Dutchman who is accused of murdering a young British woman here in 2013.
Noted criminal lawyer Mushtaq Ahmad Dar was appointed as amicus curie while advocate Mahira Bhat as defence counsel to represent the Dutch man who on previous hearing told the court that he will plead his case himself and wait to hire a lawyer till the Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s rules “collapses” in his country.
The court of Principal District and Sessions Judge ordered appointment of amicus curie and defence lawyers as three prosecution witnesses could not record their statement for want of counsel representing Richard de Wit.
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 by 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 a houseboat on 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.