Irish Daily Star

Dani mum fury as trial stalls again

THE PROSECUTOR IS NOW ON LEAVE

- ■ Nicola DONNELLY

THE mum of a woman raped and murdered in India has expressed her frustratio­n as the trial of the alleged killer has been further delayed — three and a half years after the trial opened.

Danielle McLaughlin (28), from Buncrana, was found dead in a secluded spot in Canacona, an area of Goa, on March 14, 2017.

She had planned to train as a yoga teacher in India.

The night before she was found dead, Danielle had attended a

Holi party near Canacona beach in the south of Goa.

A local man, Vikat Bhagat, has been charged with the rape and murder of Danielle and the trial opened in 2018.

The 23-year- old has pleaded not guilty to charges of rape, murder, violent robbery and destructio­n of evidence.

The trial initially opened at Court Margao on April 6, 2018.

However, it has only continued intermit tent ly since then.

Setback

A further setback ensued when the court was informed the public prosecutor is on leave.

“Everyone was there waiting for the trial to start up again but it couldn’t because the public prosecutor is on leave,” Danielle’s mum Andrea Brannigan told The Star yesterday. “They knew the public prosecutor was on leave. And now nothing has happened this year in relation to the trial. Now it has been further adjourned until December.”

DELAYS: Danielle; (inset) mum Andrea and accused Bhagat

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