THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The special investigation team constituted to probe the alleged conspiracy behind the revelations made by gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his family members began inquiry by recording the statement of Saritha S Nair, the accused in solar scam. Saritha’s statement as a witness was recorded as a telephonic conversation between her and P C George, ex-MLA, the second accused in the case, about Swapna was aired by a section of news channels. The complaint filed by former minister K T Jaleel had also mentioned about this conversation.
The swift move to record Saritha’s witness statement is learnt to be an act by the police to checkmate the possible petition which Swapna, the first accused and George, the second accused, would move in the High Court next week, seeking to quash the FIR in the case. If the accused raise such a demand, the police can defend that by saying that, prima facie, there is evidence of the conspiracy as narrated by the witness.
Crime Branch SP S Madhusoodanan recorded the statement of Saritha. It is learnt that Saritha told the officer that she was aware of the possibility of Swapna making a statement against CM weeks ago as George had told her about that. She said it was George who had called her to share the info.
According to sources, Saritha also named another person based in Kochi as co-conspirator. The man, who had earlier been involved in several controversies, facilitated the meeting between George and Swapna, she is learnt to have told the investigator.
On Monday, the police would approach the judicial first class magistrate to record the statement of Saritha as a sworn statement under Section 164 of CrPC. A meeting of the 12-member team, comprising 10 DySPs, is also likely to take place on Monday or Tuesday.
The state police chief on Saturday forwarded the complaint by Shaj Kiran, the suspected middleman in the case, to the SIT. In her complaint, Shaj Kiran alleged that Swapna published edited audio files to defame him and he sought a detailed probe into the incident. The police team is also looking into the possibility of arraying Shaj Kiran as an accused in the conspiracy case, but a decision will be taken only after obtaining clearance from higher-ups. The Cantonment police booked Swapna and George under Sections 153 (giving provocation with intent to cause a riot) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.