Kochi: The trial in the case relating to the rape and murder of a five-year-old Bihari girl at Aluva in Ernakulam district in July will begin at a special court here on October 4.
Justice K Soman of the special court for POCSO cases will hear the case in which Ashfaq Alam, a migrant labourer with criminal history, is the lone accused. There are 98 witnesses in the case. The court will try more than half of them. Ashfaq will be prosecuted with the help of a translator.
The court has instructed to issue summons to the witnesses who will be tried from October 4 to 18. Lawyer G Mohanraj is appearing for the prosecution.
The accused has been slapped with four charges which would invite stringent punishment including death.
The prosecution's argument is that Ashfaq committed grave crimes such as giving fruit juice mixed with alcohol to minor girl with the intent to rape, abduction and rape, and murder and concealment of body to tamper with evidence.
The accused told the court that he did not commit all the offences mentioned in charge-sheet. The court, in turn, issued the order to start trial of the witnesses.
The court has sought an explanation from the prosecution on the police finding that the accused killed the girl after raping her and not during the act. The prosecution has submitted a doctor's report in this regard.
On July 28, the five-year-old girl was abducted, raped and killed allegedly by Ashfaq who lived in the same building as the victim.