Couple convicted of killing daughter, manservant in India

Couple convicted of killing daughter, manservant in India
Aarushi Talwar and Nepali household servant Hemraj Banjade had their throats slit with "surgical precision". The teen's father Rajesh Talwar (above) and mother Nupur maintain their innocence, and they plan to appeal against the judgment.

A dentist couple were found guilty of clubbing to death and then slitting the throats of their teenage daughter and servant in a sensational case that has gripped India for more than five years.

Amid tight security around the small court, a judge found Rajesh Talwar, 49, a dental surgeon with a once-thriving practice, and his wife Nupur, 47, an orthodontist, guilty of murder and destruction of evidence. Talwar was also accused of giving false evidence.

The couple, who broke down on hearing the verdict, were taken into custody immediately.

The court in Ghaziabad city outside Delhi will hear arguments on the sentence today, which could be the death penalty or life imprisonment.

"We are deeply disappointed, hurt and anguished for being convicted of a crime that we have not committed. We refuse to feel defeated and will continue to fight for justice," the couple said in a statement issued after the verdict. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the federal agency, welcomed the judgment.

In the 18-month-long trial, the prosecution had accused Talwar of murdering his 14-year-old daughter, an only child, and 45-year-old servant in a fit of rage after finding them in an "objectionable position". It also accused Talwar and his wife of covering up the murders, a charge they denied.

The couple argued in their defence that they were from a stratum of society where "honour killings" did not take place, and were the victims of poor investigation.

The couple's lawyer said they will appeal against the judgment in the high court.

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