Sunday, June 16, 2013

Rajesh and Nupur Talwar: India; Disturbing story by Shree Paradkar details how prosecutors are attempting to block the defence from calling forensic evidence which may exculpate them; Bravo Toronto Star! (Must Must Read: HL);

STORY: "Aarushi Talwar murder: Indian prosecutors say defence shouldn't use forensics or witnesses: Indian prosecutors say a Delhi couple accused of killing their daughter and cook should not be allowed to call defencc witnesses," by Shree Paradkar, published by the Toronto Star on June 14, 2013.

GIST:  In the latest twist in a high-profile murder trial in India, prosecutors say a Delhi couple accused of killing their daughter and cook should not be given access to test results that may have shown the involvement of three other men. Nor, prosecutors argued, should they be allowed to call witnesses in their defence. The dozen or so witnesses the defence sought to call were “irrelevant,” R.K. Saini told a district court Thursday. Any attempt to call other witnesses was a delaying tactic and should also be rejected, he said, and the request for scientific records was a waste of the court’s time. India’s central investigative agency, the CBI, accuses Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, both dentists, of coming across their only child, 13-year-old Aarushi and 45-year-old live-in male cook, Hemraj Banjade, in her bedroom and killing them in a fit of rage five years ago. The lead investigator testified that Rajesh hit Hemraj on the head with a golf club and accidentally killed his daughter. Nupur and he then dragged Hemraj’s body to the roof terrace and slit his throat with a “surgical” instrument, A.G.L. Kaul said. The couple came back downstairs, slit their daughter’s throat, and wiped out all evidence......... Prosecutors took one year to make their case, calling 39 witnesses. A doctor who conducted the post-mortem on Hemraj told court that the dead man’s erect penis was evidence that sexual activity was either about to take place or was taking place. This knowledge, said the doctor, did not come from any scientific authority, but was based on his experience as a married man. The golf club, as the prosecution admitted, has no blood or body fluid linking it to the murder. But one club was said to have less dirt on it than others in the bag; the CBI alleges that is sign of a “cleanup.” The “surgical instrument” that investigators had previously identified as a dental scalpel was not presented. The absence of Hemraj’s blood in Aarushi’s room was also a sign of a cleanup by the Talwars, prosecutors alleged.......... The testimony of 14 of those dropped is crucial for defence. Among them:

  • A doctor who examined Aarushi’s vaginal swab and told police there was no sign of semen;

  • A constable who stated in police records she allowed cleaners to clean the crime scene hours after Aarushi’s body was discovered;

  • A high-ranking police official, Arun Kumar, who, during his stint at the CBI, headed a team that conducted extensive investigations and exonerated Rajesh in July 2008. His team found no evidence that Hemraj had been killed in the house. Hemraj’s blood was not in Aarushi’s room or on the Talwars’ clothes. Kumar’s team emerged with an alternative narrative of a sexual assault gone wrong and pointed the finger at the Talwars’ dental clinic assistant Krishna Thadarai, and two other domestic workers from the neighbourhood. Kumar was taken off the case. A second CBI team did not investigate the three alternative suspects further; instead, it accused the Talwars of the murders. The Talwars are seeking reports of the tests on the dental clinic assistant and the other two men.  They are also asking that evidence collected by police, including a blood-stained palm print on a stucco wall, blood on an alcohol bottle and a blood-stained pillow cover and blood-stained knife seized from Krishna’s house be examined by a DNA expert in England.

  • The entire  story can be found at:

    See earlier Toronto Star  story by Shree Paradkar on this troubling Indian case which appeared on the Charles Smith Blog with the heading: "Aarushi Talwar case: India; A fascinating brilliantly written look at one of India’s most notorious murder trials - and the brutal harm caused to the innocent by outdated forensic and investigative techniques: Shree Paradkar tells her cousins's story. Toronto Star. Must Read."

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