The hectic legal proceedings in the Danish woman gangrape case today took the prosecution by surprise, as the victim who supported the case in the trial court turned hostile in the Juvenile Justice Board where she failed to identify the three minor offenders.
The day began with recording of statements of two Danish police officers who told the trial court judge that the victim was "extremely traumatised" when she returned to Denmark after the incident and was still to recover from it, for which she moved a plea at the end of proceedings seeking compensation.
However, the prosecution case supported in the trial court by the 52-year-old victim suffered a setback in the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) as she failed to identify the three minors as the perpetrators of the heinous crime which she had said had caused her "immense trauma".
Atul Shrivastava, a Special Public Prosecutor in the case, said that in an in-camera proceeding before the Board, the Danish woman, who had identified three of the six adult accused in the trial court, said "she has not seen the three juveniles before".
"It is incorrect," was her answer to the question by the prosecutor that "these three juveniles are the real culprits who did the crime with you".
As he did not receive an affirmative answer, Shrivastava asked the JJB presiding officer to take on record that she was "resiling from her earlier statement" and was permitted to cross-examine her.
The special prosecutor urged the JJB to declare the woman "hostile" and during the cross examination and asked her "if she has developed sympathy towards the minors after seeing their tender age".
However, the victim said "it is wrong to suggest that she has developed sympathy towards them".
The prosecutor said the woman narrated the entire incident of January 14, 2014 before the JJB Presiding Officer Vishal Singh and identified her robbed articles, including her hand purse, which were recovered from the possession of the accused.
Apart from the victim, the JJB also recorded statements of two Danish police officers, Rasmus Nielsen, Inspector (investigation) in Copenhagen Police and Britta Almfort, Detective Inspector with the force, who during the day also testified before Additional Sessions Judge Kaveri Baweja.
Delhi Police, in its charge sheet, had said the nine accused, all vagabonds, had allegedly robbed and gangraped the Danish tourist at knife-point on the night of January 14, 2014 after leading her to a secluded spot close to the Divisional Railway Officers' Club near New Delhi Railway Station.
The accused included three juveniles.