An Indian man accused of rape and murder in the UK ten years ago has been charged with the crimes as he landed in London after being extradited from India, Scotland Yard said.
Aman Vyas, 35, landed at Heathrow Airport on Friday (4) night and will appear before Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court in west London charged with the murder and rape of Michelle Samaraweera who died after being attacked in Walthamstow, east London, on May 30 2009, the Metropolitan Police said.
“Vyas was also charged with the following offences relating to three other women – one count of attempted murder; five counts of assault; seven counts of rape; one count of possession of a knife or bladed article in a public place; one count of possession of an offensive weapon; and one count of sexual assault,” the Met Police statement noted.
All the offences are alleged to have taken place at locations across Walthamstow area of London between March 24, 2009, and May 30, 2009.
The dead body of Samaraweera, a 35-year-old woman, was discovered in a children’s playground in Walthamstow in 2009 and she had been found to have been sexually assaulted.
Vyas had been in judicial custody in Delhi and recently issued a statement through his lawyer claiming he was being made a “scapegoat”.
“The (UK) media wrongly reported that Vyas was the son of a wealthy businessman in India. He is the son of a very poor retired private school teacher and his mother is a housewife,” Vyas’ lawyer Amrit Singh told PTI in Delhi.
“His parents live in a modest house in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut and due to his poverty, he became a scapegoat as India wanted to bring back (liquor tycoon) Vijay Mallya. Indian officials have negligently dealt with this case,” Mr Singh claimed.
Vyas had been living in the UK on a student visa at the time of the alleged crimes and the Met Police claim he left Britain to live with relatives in India after a warrant was issued for his arrest.
He was arrested at Delhi airport in 2011 while trying to board a flight to Thailand and was released on bail until the Delhi court ordered his extradition to the UK in December last year.
He has been fighting extradition to the UK until finally being flown back to London this week. The case will now proceed to trial in due course.
Last year, local Walthamstow Labour MP Stella Creasy, on behalf of the victim’s family, had urged then prime minister Theresa May to raise the case with prime minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the UK in April 2018 in an attempt to speed up the extradition.