Oz court charges teen for murder of Indian student

An Australian court today charged a teenager with the murder of Indian student Nitin Garg and heard that the victim was threatened and chased on at least two other occasions before his death.

Last Updated: Oct 21, 2010, 13:51 PM IST

Melbourne: An Australian court today charged a teenager with the murder of Indian student Nitin Garg and heard that the victim was threatened and chased on at least two other occasions before his death.

A 16-year-old boy, whose name has not been disclosed due to legal reasons, appeared in a Melbourne children`s court today and was charged with one count of murder.

The boy`s defence lawyer told the court the charges will be contested at a committal hearing early next year.

Garg, 21, was stabbed as he walked through Cruickshank Park, in Melbourne`s west, on his way to work at a Yarraville Hungry Jack`s outlet after 9.30 pm on January 2.

After the stabbing, Garg staggered to the fast food outlet, at the corner of Somerville and Geelong roads, and died a short time later.

He was not robbed and his belongings were left scattered in the park where he was killed.

The prosecutor said one of Garg`s workmates told police about an incident early last year in which the student was threatened and pursued by a stranger.

He said the stranger had gone to the restaurant in April or May looking for Garg.

The defence lawyer said the first assault in 2009 had involved a knife, and the stranger`s return to the restaurant some months later was relevant to the case.

The prosecution opposed the cross-examination of that witness, saying the evidence could be covered by other witnesses and the police informant.

The magistrate said she would be unable to make a decision today on which witnesses would be compelled to testify and adjourned the case until next week.

Garg`s murder had sent shock waves back home and came after a series of racial attacks against Indian students in Australia.

PTI