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Staines family calls for mercy

Canberra, Sept. 23 (Reuters): Murdered missionary Graham Staines’ family in Australia has criticised the death sentence handed out to the leader of the mob that killed Staines and his sons.

Dara Singh was sentenced to death and his 12 accomplices to life imprisonment by a court yesterday for burning to death Staines and his minor sons, Philip and Timothy, as they slept in a vehicle in an Orissa village four years ago.

Staines’ brother, John, expressed dismay at the death sentence and called for mercy for Dara as well as the others involved in the attack, who all pleaded innocent.

“I didn’t want to see the man put to death,” John Staines, who lives in Queensland, told reporters today. “He has to answer to God for what he did. You would never get over what happened if you can’t forgive.”

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