Family of woman killed in Goa hope trial can be fast-tracked

Family of Danielle McLaughlin (28) receive documentation in relation to her killer

Danielle McLaughlin: found in a field close to the tourist resort of Canacona in Goa in March

Danielle McLaughlin: found in a field close to the tourist resort of Canacona in Goa in March

 

The family of Donegal woman Danielle McLaughlin are hopeful the trial of the man charged with her killing will be fast-tracked.

The family have received the charge documentation from the prosecution authorities in India against the accused, Vikat Bhagat (24). He has already confessed to the killing.

The body of Ms McLaughlin (28) was found in a field close to the tourist resort of Canacona in Goa on March 14th.

She had been attending a celebration of Holi, the Hindu spring festival, the previous night. CCTV footage saw her in the company of Bhagat that night.

A postmortem later showed she had been sexually assaulted before being killed by blows to the head.

A second postmortem carried out in Ireland by the Coroner’s Office and the Chief State Pathologist, Dr Marie Cassidy, confirmed the cause of the death established by the Indian authorities.

The charge documentation has been gathered by the British consulate in Mumbai and delivered to the family’s solicitor, Desmond J Doherty, in Buncrana.

A prominent solicitor in India, Vikram Varma, has also been appointed to the case.

A statement from Mr Doherty said the family had dealt with a lot of documentation and information over recent weeks in relation to Ms McLaughlin’s case.

“They are still trying to cope with and come to terms with the tragedy that had occurred,” he said.

“Danielle’s family remains hopeful that the truth in relation to Danielle’s untimely death will be made known and that justice in her memory will be done.”

Mr Doherty said he anticipated the trial of Bhagat will begin before the first anniversary of Ms McLaughlin’s death.

He added: “In any jurisdiction, the very nature of this type of crime takes time to come to trial. The Indian authorities are endeavouring to deal with this as quickly as possible, but nobody wants anything rushed.”