"due to his poverty, he became a scapegoat"
Indian murderer Aman Vyas, aged 34, is set to face a trial in London, UK, during the first week of October 2019, for allegedly committing rape and murder there in 2009.
However, on behalf of his lawyer, he said that he was being made a “scapegoat” because the media stated that he was the son of a wealthy businessman when he is actually from a poor family.
Vyas, who is in judicial custody in India, was accused of murdering 35-year-old Michelle Samaraweera, who was found dead in a children’s playground in East London in 2009.
According to the media, she was raped before being strangled to death.
Vyas had living in the UK on a student visa. He is also wanted over three other alleged sex attacks, which also took place in East London before Michelle’s murder.
After a warrant was issued for his arrest, he went to live with relatives in India.
Vyas was arrested at Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi in 2011 after attempting to get on a flight to Thailand. He was released on bail.
Vyas’s lawyer Amrit Singh has now claimed that there was no “competent evidence implicating the accused in any crime”.
He said: “The media wrongly reported that Vyas was the son of a wealthy businessman in India. He is the son of a very poor retired private school teacher and his mother is a housewife.
“His parents live in a modest house in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut and due to his poverty, he became a scapegoat as India wanted to bring back Vijay Mallya. Indian officials have negligently dealt with this case.”
Mr Singh went on to explain that Vyas received a Police Clearance Certificate from the London Police on July 16, 2010.
The Indian murderer had wanted it for obtaining a visitor’s visa for himself for New Zealand.
Mr Singh added that the certificate stated:
“He was not implicated in any case, and accordingly, it attested that there was no negative report against him”.
According to the London Police, one person was responsible for the serial rapes and one case of murder, but their forensic scientist had a different opinion.
Mr Singh explained that the London court which had issued the arrest warrant was not a competent court in this case.
The order had been passed without a DNA match or equivalently reliable alternative evidence, and without any proper investigation to support the move to arrest.
Mr Singh said: “The Government of India was aware that the warrant against Vyas was not from a competent court within the UK and to conceal this irregularity, they omitted to submit a copy of the warrant issued by the Barking Magistrate Court, London, and opted instead to submit false arguments in a Delhi court.”
Vyas’s extradition to the UK was ordered by the Delhi court on December 18, 2018. He was then taken into custody.
India Today reported that Mr Singh stated that his client would soon approach the Supreme Court to appeal against the extradition order.
Michelle’s sister Ann Chandradasa said: “I am delighted that my sister will finally get a trial after all these years.”
On behalf of Michelle’s family, in 2018, Labour MP Stella Creasy urged then-Prime Minister Theresa May to point out the case with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his UK visit in April 2018 in a bid to quicken Vyas’s extradition.