CBI suffers setback in Scarlett case

The Goa bench of the Bombay High Court has turned down the CBI plea for a letter rogatory to examine Fiona MacKeown and another witness Charles Carter from United Kingdom in connection with the Scarlett Keeling case.

The agency was, however, granted a three-month extension to conduct further investigations into the case.

The CBI had approached the high court after the Goa children’s court rejected its prayer for a letter rogatory in the case in March this year.

Special public prosecutor Carlos Ferreira, who represents the CBI, told Deccan Herald that since the investigations are pending, the court has also stayed the trial court proceedings in the case. Samson D’Souza, a  bartender and another local Placido Carvalho are the two main accused in the case.

The CBI had told the court that both Fiona, Scarlett’s mother, and Carter, a British national were required to be examined as they had no plans to return to India. The investigations have reached a crucial stage and their statements were required in the light of new evidence, the agency argued.

Carter was in Lui’s shack, Anjuna beach on February 17, 2008, the day Scarlett was last seen alive and inebriated at the bar. The British teen’s body was discovered on the beach the next morning.

The children’s court had dismissed the CBI plea for a letter rogatory in March on the grounds that Fiona and Carter had already given detailed statements to the police that are a part of the records. The agency had failed to make out any new angle to re-examine the witnesses, the court had said.

Fiona, who was planning to visit Goa earlier this year on the anniversary of her daughter’s death, cancelled her plans because she believed there was a serious threat to her life, her lawyer had said.

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