The trial in the alleged sexual assault and murder of a Latvian tourist four years ago near Kovalam got under way at the Thiruvananthapuram Additional District and Sessions Court – I on Wednesday.
Judge K.K. Balakrishnan began the trial in the case pertaining to the death of the 33-year-old victim who had gone missing on March 14, 2018. Her skeletal remains were discovered at a swampy locality near Kovalam 40 days later.
Two local youths, Umesh, 32, and Udayakumar, 28, both natives of Vellar, had been subsequently arrested and accused of drugging, raping and murdering the victim. They are currently out on bail.
On the opening day of the trial, the victim’s sister, who is the second witness in the case, testified before the court. The prime witness, Pradeep, who hails from the locality, informed the court of his indisposition. The trial will continue on Thursday.
The investigation team led by the then Assistant Commissioner, Fort, J.K. Dinil had submitted the charge-sheet in the case. As many as 104 witness statements, 112 records and 81 material objects were submitted as evidence against the accused. The prosecution is led by special public prosecutor G. Mohanraj, who earlier appeared in the Uthra and Vismaya death cases.