Man suspected of murdering Scarlett Keeling in Goa bailed as charges are delayed


Scarlett Keeling, 15, was found dead in February on a beach in Goa

Scarlett Keeling, 15, was found dead in February on a beach in Goa

The main suspect in the rape and murder of British teenager Scarlett Keeling has been released on bail.

Samson D'Souza, 29, is facing a number of charges, including raping the 15-year-old and assisting in her murder.

He was freed after the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation failed to submit charges against him.

Vikram Varma, the lawyer representing Scarlett's mother, Fiona MacKeown, said the CBI has applied to cancel the bail and that the appeal would be heard on Friday.

Scarlett's body was found on Anjuna beach in Goa, India, on February 19.

Police initially claimed her death was an accidental drowning.

But, after a sustained campaign by Mrs MacKeown, a second post mortem examination was held.

It revealed Scarlett, from Bradworthy, Devon, had been killed and taken Ecstasy, cocaine and LSD on the night she died.

Another man, Placido Carvalho has also appeared in court on suspicion of assisting in her murder.

D'Souza was seen by key witnesses lying on Keeling outside Lui's Bar shortly before she was found dead.

However, the court ruled there was no evidence linking D'Souza with the murder after forensic reports failed to link him with Scarlett's body.

'Other than the accused last being seen with Scarlett prior to her death, there is no other material bringing out his role in her rape or death,' the court order said.

For the case to move on, the CBI needs to collect evidence from Keeling's mother, Fiona MacKeown, who has so far refused to return to Goa citing dangers to her safety.

MacKeown continues to believe the rapist and killer is still at large, and is being protected by the Goa Government.

'I was never 100 per cent sure that he was fully involved and if he was, he certainly wasn't the only one,' she said.

'I think he was messing around with her and possibly spiked her with drugs, but I don't think he raped and murdered her. Although I certainly think he knows who the killers are.

'I am prepared and willing to speak to the CBI, but I'm not going to come back to Goa until my lawyer says it is safe to do so. If I have to come, I will, but only when my safety is assured. There must be another way of me giving evidence. At the moment, it is not worth me being separated from my kids.'

Samson D'Souza being taken to Mapusa court, Goa

Samson D'Souza being taken to Mapusa court, Goa, India on charges of Scarlett's rape and murder. He has now been bailed

MacKeown states that she still has faith in the CBI to track down the killers.

Keeling family lawyer Vikram Varma said that D'Souza's bail is a worrying indictment of the Indian justice system.

'It is scandalous and alarming that he can walk free after being involved in such a heinous crime. It is a failing of the justice system.

'However, I have full faith in the CBI and judiciary and I am confident that justice will be done.

'There is no grounds to hold him because Fiona must come forward and depose her evidence before the court.

'However, she will not do this because she fears for her safety in Goa. She does not have faith in the Goa Government and fears a look-out-notice would be placed on her as with Michael Mannion and she would not be able to leave Goa, that she may be arrested or that her safety may be in danger from the Goa drugs mafia.'

Key witness Mannion, who is a UK national, was detained in Goa for six months against his will under a look-out-notice.

The CBI say they are still collecting evidence and do not have a clear idea who the killer is.

'We have just taken over the case and we are investigating the case,' said R K Gaur, CBI Spokesperson. 'Unless we look at all the angles and study the role of all the suspects, it would be difficult to say who the killer is at this stage.'

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