MUMBAI: An Indian man who murdered his French wife before chopping up her body and hiding it in a fridge three years ago was jailed for life on Thursday, police said.
Girish Pote, 38, was found guilty on Wednesday of killing 33-year-old Madhuwanti Pathak on Dec 3, 2013 because she wanted to leave India to return to France, where she was born and raised.
Pote murdered her in the flat they shared in Bhayandar, a northern suburb of India's commercial capital Mumbai, after he purchased knives from a nearby shopping mall, a judge ruled.
"The accused has been sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering his wife," Dinkar Murlidhar Pingle, the police officer who led the investigation, told AFP.
The court heard how Pote decided to chop up his wife's body and hide it in a refrigerator in their flat so his crime could not be detected by CCTV cameras installed in the lobby and lift of their building.
The grisly crime only came to light after Pote confessed to a cousin, who then informed police.
"Madhuwanti wanted to go back to France after selling the property in Mumbai," prosecutor Bhuleshwar Hinge had told the court during the trial, according to the Press Trust of India news agency. "During investigation, Pote revealed that his wife disliked India and wanted to take the money and fly back to France.
"But he had opposed the idea, leading to frequent fights between them."
The couple had married in June 2011, the court heard, and had a child who was two years old at the time of Pathak's death, PTI reported.
Pathak's mother, who was a French musician, owned the flat where the couple lived, the court heard. Pathak, whose father was Indian, held a French passport.
Prosecutors had sought the death penalty but the judge at Thane district court, in the north of Mumbai, told a packed courtroom that Pote would remain in prison until his "biological end", PTI said.