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Scarlette case: Forensic expert talks to media, suspended

IANS
Mar 25, 2008 at 02:10pm IST

Panaji: The pathologist who did an autopsy of the murdered British tourist Scarlette Keeling was suspended on Tuesday, a day after the Goa government said it may hand over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Silvano Sapeco was suspended after police alleged he had made "irresponsible" statements to the media about the autopsy of Scarlette, who was found dead in Goa on February 18.

Sapeco in his fresh report on Friday said that the 15-year-old Briton was drowned, contradicting police claims that she died of a drug overdose.

PLOT THICKENS: Scarlette was found dead in Goa's Anjuna beach on February 18.

Scarlette's head was forcibly held under water for over 10 minutes by her murderers and the bruises on her body suggest a struggle, said Sapeco, who had conducted the first autopsy on Scarlette.

The new report said the cocktail of drugs and alcohol found in Scarlette's body was "not enough to cause coma or death".

Inspector General of Police Kishen Kumar said that in the first autopsy report Sapeco did not mention anything about bruises on Scarlette's body.

Scarlette's body was found on Goa's Anjuna beach. The police initially said she had drowned but a doughty campaign by her mother Fiona Mackeown forced the police to order a second autopsy, after which the officials said she was given a heavy dose of drugs and raped.

Two suspects – Samson D'Souza and Placido Carvalho – have been arrested in connection with the murder and rape. They were bartenders at the beach shack near which Scarlette's body was found.

Samson was on Tuesday remanded to 15-day police custody by a court.

The police on Monday also questioned a third suspect, sarpanch of Anjuna gram panchayat Edwin.

Meanwhile, the secretary of Goa government said the home minister was considering transferring the investigation to the CBI.

According to the secretary, the home minister has also extended police protection to Mackeown after she claimed her life was in danger.

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