Umesh, Udayan | Photo: Mathrubhumi News
Thiruvananthapuram: The First Class Additional District Sessions Court here on Monday has set aside its judgement on the quantum of sentence for the two convicts in the rape and murder case of a Latvian woman in Kovalam in 2018. The Sessions court judge K Sanilkumar has stated that the punishment will be pronounced on Tuesday. On Friday, the court declared the accused Umesh and Udayan as convicts in the case.
The convicts were produced in the court on Monday as the court had earlier reserved the pronouncement of the quantum of sentence for Monday. The prosecution asserted that a woman who arrived in our country as a guest was brutally raped and murdered in Kerala and the verdict grabs attention at an international level. The prosecution pointed out that it is the rarest of rare cases and urged the court to award capital punishment to the convicts. The prosecution also pleaded to provide financial assistance for the victim’s sister.
Meanwhile, the defence lawyer requested relaxation in the punishment as it was a case with no witness. Only circumstantial evidence is available regarding the case. The defence lawyer also urged the court to consider the age of the convicts.
When the court asked the convicts whether they know that the crime they committed could attract death penalty, they replied that they want to live.
Thiruvananthapuram Sessions Court convicted the accused Umesh and Udayan under various sections of the Indian Penal Code including the rape and murder of the 33-year-old Latvian tourist, who had gone missing under mysterious circumstances from Kovalam on March 14, 2018.
The accused were found guilty based on circumstantial evidence and the court will pronounce the quantum of sentence on December 6.
"The body was found after 38 days and in a decomposed state due to which we lost a lot of biological evidence but the police were able to build a case based on circumstantial evidence and the prosecution was able to successfully prove it in the court," the prosecutor told the media.
The highly decomposed and headless body of the woman was recovered from a mangrove forest at nearby Thiruvallam on April 21, 2018 and the accused, Umesh and Udayan, were arrested on May 3, 2018.
(With inputs from PTI)