KOCHI: The Ernakulam Principal Sessions Court on Tuesday directed Father Paul Thelakkatt and Fr Antony Kallookkaran, the first and fourth accused respectively in the case related to forging of documents against Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church Cardinal George Alencherry, to appear before the investigation team for interrogation from May 30 to June 5. The court also restrained the police from arresting the accused.
When the case came up for hearing, the prosecution assured the police would not arrest the accused and the court recorded the submission. The court issued the order on the anticipatory bail pleas filed by the duo.
The court directed the accused to cooperate with the investigation team and also directed them to appear before the investigation officer. The court posted the case for June 7. The court also imposed conditions for questioning the accused priests stating that they would be subjected to interrogation from 10 am to 4 pm.
If the priests seek an interval during the questioning that should be allowed.
If required, they may seek the assistance of lawyers. However, the presence of lawyers should not be allowed in the questioning room. The police should not harass the accused, cited the order.
The prosecution informed the court the accused were influential persons and were not cooperating with the investigators, hence, they would be subjected to an interrogation. As per the case, Fr Thelakkat, a senior priest of the Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly, and Bishop Jacob Manathodath, the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese, forged some bank transaction documents to defame the Cardinal.