Zealand NRI Sentenced to life imprisonment of killing his wife
Auckland, July 25, 2008
NRI Laxman Rajamani, 36, an accountant has been convicted at
a retrial of murdering his wife, Chitralekha Ramakrishnan and
been sentenced to life in prison. He smashed her head with a brick
before slashing her throat in the kitchen, at their home in January,
The prosecution claimed that Rajamani, who was upset with his
wife because she wanted to end their relationship. He admitted
that he had killed his wife but said he was provoked into doing
so and was guilty instead of manslaughter.
Justice Judith Potter said:
- The court should not impose a heavier sentence than previously
imposed unless good reason was shown.
- After referring to written submissions by the crown and defence,
he sentenced Rajamani to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole
term of 12 years. Rajamani showed no emotion as he was sentenced.
The prosecution said that Rajamani's actions clearly met the
threshold of murder and that the provocation defence did not apply.
In 2006, Laxman Rajamani:
- Found guilty by a High Court jury but the Supreme Court last
year quashed the conviction and ordered a retrial.
- Told the court he was overcome with rage when his 32-year-old
wife said she wanted a divorce and was moving in with a Pakistani
- He appealed on the grounds that there was a miscarriage of
justice when the judge proceeded with the trial with only 10
jurors, and that the judge had failed to properly sum up to
the jury on the defence of provocation.
- Also claimed that his counsel did not competently or properly
question one of the Crown witnesses, and that the judge had
improperly admitted hearsay evidence of the dead woman's statements
and misdirected the jury as to the use of such statements.