Apex court sets free two Italians in murder case

Two Italian tourists, sentenced to life term for killing a fellow national in Varanasi in 2010, have been allowed to walk free by the Supreme Court which found faults with the Uttar Pradesh Police investigation.

A three-judge bench presided over by Justice A R Dave rapped the police for “withholding” crucial evidence in the five-year-old murder case. “With the advancement of information technology, scientific temper at the individual and  institutional level is to pervade the methods of investigation. With the increasing impact of technology in everyday life, the production of electronic evidence in cases has become relevant to establish the guilt of the accused or the liability of the defendant,” the bench said. 

The court reversed the trial court as well as the Allahabad High Court verdict, which held Italian citizens Tomaso Bruno and Elisa Betta Bon Compagni guilty of strangulating their fellow national Francesco Montis to death.

All the three persons had come to India from London in December 2009. They reached Varanasi on  January 31, 2010. On February 4, Tomaso and Elisa went to see “Subhe Banaras”  but the deceased stayed back in the hotel due to a mild headache. On their return, the accused found Francesco unresponsive. 

They took him to hospital where the doctors pronounced him dead.Going through the case records, the apex court said that both the trial court as well as the high court failed to notice absence of strangulation symptoms in the medical reports and any external mark of injury.

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