Indian prosecutor quits in British teen death case
An Indian lawyer prosecuting two men in connection with the death of a British teenager in the resort state of Goa has quit midway through the trial, officials said on Thursday.
Public prosecutor S.R. Rivonkar wrote to the federal Central Bureau of Investigation agency saying he did not have enough time to devote to the case, CBI sources said.
Rivonkar had been presenting evidence against two local men, alleging that they drugged and sexually abused 15-year-old Scarlett Keeling and then left her to die on the popular Anjuna Beach in February 2008.
The lawyer has been replaced and the trial will continue, the sources added.
Vikram Varma, counsel for Scarlett's mother, Fiona MacKeown, described Rivonkar's withdrawal as "unfortunate".
Police initially dismissed Scarlett's death as accidental but a post-mortem examination found that she had taken a cocktail of drink and drugs before she died.
MacKeown has criticised the decision not to charge defendants Samson D'Souza and Placido Carvalho with rape and murder and accused local authorities of trying to cover up the death to protect drug gangs operating in Goa.
The pair are facing charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, using force with intent to outrage a woman's modesty and administering a drug with intent to harm.
© 2011 AFP