The widow of British astrophysicist Steven Rawlings has cleared his best friend of 30 years, fellow Oxford don Devinder Sivia, of any role in her husband’s death.
Sivia was arrested on Thursday following Rawlings’ death at his friend’s home in the Oxford village of Southmoor. Sivia, who is now out on bail, could not have been responsible the death, Rawlings’ wife Linda said Friday.
“Steve and Devinder were best friends since college and I believe this is a tragic accident. I do not believe that Steve’s death is murder and I do not believe Devinder should be tarnished in this way.”
As more family and friends sprang to Sivia’s defence, a police spokesman said, “We are mindful that ultimately the death may be a matter for a coroner’s inquest rather than a criminal court.”
A London-based entrepreneur who was Sivia’s classmate at Cambridge told HT he is “the gentlest and kindest person imaginable.” An Indian scientist, who knew both Rawlings and Sivia at Oxford, rued the loss of “two brilliant men.”