THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: One of the prime prosecution witnesses in the Sister Abhaya murder case, Adakka Raju, told the CBI special court here that he had seen two men standing on the terrace of the St Pious X Convent keeping a watch over the nearby area with a torch on 26 March 1992, hours before the nun's body was found in the convent well.
Raju, a petty thief, had earlier given a statement to the CBI and the magistrate that he saw the two in the convent on the night he had gone there to steal copper plates from the terrace.
To the question of the prosecutor on how he came to identify the two men, Raju said he identified them from the television and newspaper after they were arrested by the CBI.
When asked whether the two people he had seen were present in the court, he said one was there and identified him as Father Thomas Kottoor, the first accused.
Father Jose Poothrikkayil, the second accused, has already been discharged by the CBI court due to lack of evidence. Raju's statements could hold weight as he is the only witness who claimed he had seen the two clergymen in the convent.
Another witness, Sanju Augustine, had turned hostile and said he had given a statement saying the scooter of Poothrikkayil was parked outside the convent under the influence of the CBI.
Cross-examining Raju, the defence counsel tried to highlight his criminal antecedents.
Replying to the questions, Raju said he was a child delinquent and had several criminal cases against him. He also said his wife tried to commit suicide after he eloped with his friend's wife.