THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a fresh development in the Sr Abhaya case, social worker Kalarcode Venugopalan Nair deposed before the court that Father Thomas Kottoor had confessed to him that he maintained a relationship with Sister Sefi and did make a mistake but could not admit the crime since it would bring disgrace to the Church.
Venugopalan Nair, the seventh witness produced by the prosecution, told the court about Kottoor's confession before the CBI Special Court hearing the sensational Abhaya murder case on Monday.
Nair claimed Kottoor told him this while he had gone to the Bishop House to meet him. "Kottoor told me that inside his cassocks, he was also a human being.
He said he was not made of bricks and iron and committed a wrong," said Nair. Kottoor is the first accused in the case, while Sefi is the third accused.
Nair's statement could lend credence to the CBI stance that the two, along with Fr Jose Poothrikkayil, had murdered the nun after she happened to see the three in a compromising position.
Poothrikayil, listed as the second accused, was earlier discharged by the CBI court for want of evidence.
Nair said he had gone to meet the priest after reading an article of Dr James Vadakkumcherry against narco analysis test that was carried in a vernacular daily.
"Being a social worker, he asked me to file Public Interest Litigation against narco analysis in the High Court. I was told to take the help of leading lawyers. I was given Rs 5000 to meet the expenses. But my conscience was not allowing me to do so. The priest had already confessed to me, in trembled voice and amid tears, that he had committed a crime," Nair told the court.
Nair said he advised Kottoor to admit to his crime. But the priest said he was not the only one who has committed such a crime.
"He said he was not the only one who did this. Others are not being punished this way," said Nair.
Nair also said a lot of money was spent on campaigning against the narco analysis test.
Nair reckoned he had met Kottoor twice and during one occasion Poothrikkayil was present alongside Kottoor at the Bishop House.
"He was then the editor of Apna Des, an official publication of Kottayam Archdiocese. I identified him only when he was arrested by the CBI later," Nair said.
The cross-examination of Nair was deferred to Tuesday as Kottoor's counsel B Raman Pillai was not present.