Kerala Kaumudi Online
Monday, 30 January 2023 6.19 AM IST

Latvian woman murder in Kovalam: Convicts sentenced to life


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Additional Sessions Court-I here has sentenced the men convicted of raping and murdering a Latvian woman in Kovalam to life imprisonment along with a fine. The court said the convicts, Umesh and Udayakumar, should serve the punishment till the end of their life.

The Additional Sessions Court Judge K. Sanil Kumar awarded the punishment under various sections of the IPC. As per section 376 (A), the guilty have to serve the life sentence till the end of life. Apart from this, the accused have to pay a fine of Rs 1,65,000 each. The court has also ordered to pay compensation to the victim. This is to be given after an inquiry by the Legal Services Authority. Prosecutor Mohan Raj responded that the verdict is exemplary.

Udayan, a tourist guide, and Umesh, an employee of a caretaker firm, raped and murdered the Latvian woman in 2018 in a first such incident in Kerala. When the court asked whether the convicts feel guilty about the crime, Udayan and Umesh replied they do not feel guilty as they did not commit the crime, their families are in poverty and they should be given a lesser sentence.

The prosecution said the world is looking at this verdict and demanded maximum punishment for the accused. "The case is the rarest of the rare. But the court can consider the age of the accused. The government should be directed to give due compensation to the family of the murdered woman. This incident gave the country a bad image. This is the first time that a tourist in Kerala has been raped and killed. If the sentence is commuted, it will send a wrong message to the society", Prosecutor Mohan Raj told the court.

But the demand of the defence was that the scientific and circumstantial evidence is not against the convicts and the court should consider their age and living conditions.

Umesh, the first accused, told the court that he should be allowed to live, that he lives in a house in two cents of land and that he is the only support for his elderly parents. Udayakumar also argued that the police made him the accused and that he had not committed the crime.

The court asked how huge compensation could be levied from those living in the two-cent property. The prosecution replied that it should be checked if the government could provide help. The prosecution demanded separate punishment under sections 376 (A) (rape and murder) and 376 (D) (gang rape)when the court inquired about the same.

The young woman who came to Kerala for Ayurvedic treatment went missing on 14 March 2018. A month later, her body was found in a decomposed state in Vazhamuttam.

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