There has been ANOTHER delay in the trial of the man accused of murdering young Buncrana woman Danielle McLaughlin.
Vikat Bhagat has been charged with the rape and murder of Danielle with the accused pleading not guilty when the trial opened in 2018.
Danielle, 28, was found dead in a secluded spot in India’s Canacona, an area of Goa popular with holidaymakers, on March 14, 2017.
Now Bhagat has claimed he was assaulted by prison officers – leading to further delays in the trial.
The trial initially opened at Court Margao in India’s South Goa on April 6, 2018, but has only continued intermittently since then taking place twice a month for 30 minutes maximum.
Danielle had travelled to India where she planned to train as a yoga teacher. The night before she was found dead, she had attended a Holi party near Canacona beach.
The accused man’s legal representatives requested a medical check up for Bhagat. The judge ordered he be provided with immediate medical assistance and a report to be submitted to the court by Monday and the trial was adjourned.
“Yet again, the trial couldn’t go ahead,” Danielle’s heartbroken mother Andrea told the Irish Mirror.
“He has done this before a few times, claiming he was assaulted. It’s never ending,” said Andrea, adding that “It’s all about his rights. It’s never about what he is on trial for.”
Last month, An Tanaiste Micheal Martin said he is “fully aware of the acute distress” for Danielle’s family arising from the ongoing delays in the trial of a man accused of murdering her in India.
Mr Martin, who is also the Minister for Foreign Affairs, also said “ensuring a quick conclusion to the court case remains a significant priority for the Irish and British Governments.”
His comments come in a response to a Dail question put to the Tanaiste by Donegal TD Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD who asked if he will meet with Danielle’s family to directly discuss their concerns over the prolonged murder trial.
The trial is only a third of the way through the witnesses since it opened five years ago leaving Andrea and her family frustrated at the slow pace.