© 2000 VNN
February 6, 2001 VNN6543 Related VNN StoriesComment on this story
Bhaktadas Puri Update
BY LEE ELSTON
INDIA, Feb 6 (VNN) Letter for Help
A few weeks ago you answered my last letter most sympathetically and I really thank you for it. However, here I am again, appealing to you from the bottom of my heart. I have forwarded to you a letter I just received from my son where he is still under police custody in a hospital in Bhubaneswar where I visited him in December. As I have said to many friends, "at least I know that physically he is OK and taken care of." However that may only go on for another 2 weeks and he will be back in the jail in Puri where the conditions are abominable to say the least.
From what I understand there have still been no final charges made against him- the police are still apparently trying to find evidence against him (of which there is none, because he was not a party to any child abuse.) Nevertheless he has never even been granted bail! Dear Mr. Celeste, is there nothing the U.S. government can do to see that one of their nationals is treated fairly? Or at least legally? From what I understand, after 120 days a person must be allowed bail! My son was arrested on August 21st, 2000! Long past the 120 days! Please, please please PLEASE HELP!!!
The woman who brought the accusations, Maria Schmidova has admitted to my daughter, Laurel Manniegel who lives in Munich and speaks fluent German that "Bhaktadas" was innocent. She also made that statement to another friend of my son's who lives in Vienna. However, when it comes to signing an affidavit to that effect, written my by son's attorney in India, she won't do it. She is afraid of someone in India who apparently is calling the shots, and she is even too frightened to go to the Indian Embassy! She certainly will never go back to India (at least that is what she says) But she is obviously emotionally a very unstable personality. She claims she had been drugged and intoxicated while she was living in India, and who knows, she may have dreamed (literally) the whole thing! Unfortunately she will not name the person in India who tells her NOT to sign the papers admitting my son's innocence.
My family and I have contacted an attorney by the name of Dr. Th. Strohal in Vienna and when he has received my check for $3000. he will contact Maria Schmidova and try to convince her that it is in her own best interets to sign! We are hoping that will do the trick. But if you could possibly put some pressure on the police/courts/ in Orissa so that my son is at least released on bail, we would be forever grateful.
Lee Elston, mother of William George Benedict (AKA Bhaktadas. )
Related VNN StoriesComment on this storyContact VNN about this storySend this story to a friendThis story URL: http://www.vnn.org/world/WD0102/WD06-6543.html
NEWS DESK | WORLD | TOP
Surf the Web on