India Uncut

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Friday, November 10, 2006

Now the focus is on Jessica Lall?

Ram Jethmalani, in his defence of Manu Sharma, is playing that classic lawyer's trick: turn the focus on the behaviour of the accused victim rather than what was done to her. Hindustan Times reports:
Senior Lawyer Ram Jethmalani on Thursday told the Delhi High Court that Jessica Lall was shot dead because she had "challenged the manhood" of her killer by declining to "satiate his desire". [...]

To a question from Justice Sodhi on whether he was building up an argument that Jessica was doing things other than serving liquor, Jethmalani said: "Maybe. If he (the killer) merely wanted a drink, it was available at hundred places in the city."

Jethmalani said "other kinds of activities" were going on at Tamarind Court, where Jessica was killed on April 29, 1999.
Well, if Jethmalani's going down this road, he'd better have some bloody good evidence to back it up. I completely support Manu Sharma's right to have a fair trial and Jethmalani's right to defend him, but it would be a pity if Jethmalani is cynically concocting such angles to create enough doubt in the judges' minds to get an acquittal or a reduced sentence. (Not that the victim's character should have anything to do with it, but you know how Indians think.)

Jethamalani also says that Sharma was not the killer, but a "tall Sikh gentleman" was. If that is the case, I'd be amazed that no one else has spoken about this gent in the last seven years. and it isn't the case, then I'd be amazed that Jethamalani could make up something like this. Either way astonishment comes.

Update: Thanks to Shrabonti for pointing out the careless typo in the first para. The perils of blogging with too much haste. Go easy, young man, they used to say. Pfaw, I would reply. Now look.
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