The trial of 14 men accused of burning an Australian missionary and his two sons to death in a remote village in India has ended. The group is alleged to have murdered Graham Stewart Staines and his sons, Philip, 10, and Timothy, who was eight, in January, 1999, in the Indian state of Orissa. All the defendants have pleaded innocent and face the death penalty if convicted. The judge, Mahendranath Patnaik, said he will announce on Wednesday a date when he will deliver the verdict. The Staines died when the jeep they were sleeping in was torched outside a church in the village of Manoharpur. The killings were condemned in India and around the world, but were followed by other attacks on India’s Christian minority. Right-wing Hindus who complained that co-religionists were being pressured to convert to Christianity were blamed at the time of the attack on the Staines. Full Story
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