KOCHI:The NIA court on Thursday permitted the NIA to interrogate 12 crew members of Iranian vessel Barooki intercepted off Kerala coast at the Kakkanad District Jail.
The court dismissed the petition filed by NIA for the custody of the accused.
K M Balachandran, the NIA court judge, ordered that custody of the accused cannot be granted due to lack of legal provision in wake of first remand period completed by the accused persons. However, the central agency officials can interrogate the accused at the jail and collect their statement. The date and time for the interrogation have to be decided by the NIA after informing the court. Meanwhile, the NIA court extended the remand period of the accused person for another 14 days. NIA court judge K M Balachandran examined the accused through video conferencing system connecting Ernakulam District Court and Kakkanad District Court.NIA officials said that the statement of the accused persons have to be recorded even before interrogation. “The investigation team has to visit the jail for collecting the information from the accused for several days. First the statement would be recorded, then the interrogation would be held,”NIA official said.
Earlier, the NIA had approached the court for getting the custody of the accused even though the first remand period was completed by the accused after arrested by Kerala police. By the time the case was handed over to NIA, the time period for taking accused comprising 5 Pakistan and 7 Iran nationals in custody was completed.
The NIA would be interrogating the accused persons with the assistance of two translators who are experts in Persian language from Kerala University.