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Aus teenager charged for Nitin Garg's murder

October 21, 2010 10:33 IST

An Australian court on Thursday charged a teenager with the murder of Indian student Nitin Garg and heard that the victim was threatened and chased on at least two other occasions before his death.

A 16-year-old boy, whose name has not been disclosed due to legal reasons, appeared in a Melbourne children's court today and was charged with one count of murder.

The boy's defence lawyer told the court the charges will be contested at a committal hearing early next year.

Garg, 21, was stabbed as he walked through Cruickshank Park, in Melbourne's west, on his way to work at a Yarraville Hungry Jack's outlet after 9.30 pm on January 2.

After the stabbing, Garg staggered to the fast food outlet, at the corner of Somerville and Geelong roads, and died a short time later.

He was not robbed and his belongings were left scattered in the park where he was killed.

The prosecutor said one of Garg's workmates told police about an incident early last year in which the student was threatened and pursued by a stranger.

He said the stranger had gone to the restaurant in April or May looking for Garg.

The defence lawyer said the first assault in 2009 had involved a knife, and the stranger's return to the restaurant some months later was relevant to the case.

The prosecution opposed the cross-examination of that witness, saying the evidence could be covered by other witnesses and the police informant.

The magistrate said she would be unable to make a decision today on which witnesses would be compelled to testify and adjourned the case until next week.

Garg's murder had sent shock waves back home and came after a series of racial attacks against Indian students in Australia.

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