KOCHI: The French Police, which had approached the NIA for quizzing an IS operative from Kerala as part of the 2015 Paris Attack, has sought assurance from the Central agency the accused will not be awarded capital punishment by Indian courts. The assurance was sought since capital punishment has been banned in France since 2007.
The French Police had last year approached the NIA for interrogating Subahani Haja Moideen, a resident of Thodupuzha, who had fought for IS in Syria and Iraq. He was arrested by the NIA in 2016 in connection with the probe into the IS module which was planning terror attacks in several parts of Kerala and neighbouring states. The French agency had sent a draft ‘Letters Rogatory’ to the NIA as part of initiating legal steps to interrogate Subahani.
However, considering India still awards capital punishment to convicts, the French Police sought assurance from the NIA that capital punishment will not be given to Subahani in the case registered in Kerala. “The French agency had made a query pertaining to the possible awarding of capital punishment to Subahani. However, the charges slapped on Subhani do not warrant the death penalty. We have communicated about this to the French Police. They will have to submit a Letters Rogatory to the sessions court concerned in Kochi to get access to Subahani, who is currently lodged in Viyyoor jail,” said an NIA officer.
Now, it’s up to the Union Government and the Home Ministry to consider the French Police’s request. “We have requested the Centre’s permission to take a decision on providing access to Subahani. The procedure in this regard will take some time,” the officer said.Similarly, the NIA has also requested the French Police to provide access to some of the militants arrested by the agency to get information about the IS operatives from India in Syria. “The request made by us is still under consideration of the French Police,” he said.
During interrogation, Subahani had revealed about the foreign fighters, including the French nationals, who led the IS unit in Mosul.
He was working for the IS regiment named Omer-Kathi-Kaliph. During Subhani’s stay at Mosul, Abdel Hamid, Abdesalam and Mohammad Usman, who were involved in the Paris attack, had visited the training camp to meet Frenchman Abu Sulaiman, the commander of the regiment. While Abdel Hamid was shot dead by the security agencies, the other two are still in the custody of the French investigation team.
After completing the investigation against Subahani, the NIA had filed the chargesheet in the case last year.