Prosecution wants to try one of its witnesses as an accused

The trial in the case to relating to the gangland murder of “Aprani” Krishnakumar took an interesting turn on Friday with the prosecution seeking the court’s permission to try one of its own witnesses as an accused in the case.

Special Prosecutor Sajan Prasad filed a petition in the court of the Second Additional Sessions Judge K.P. Indira, seeking her permission to put prosecution witness number 79, “Advocate” Sunil alias “Para” Sunil, on trial for murder along with the rest of the accused.

Sunil’s mobile

In its charge-sheet, the police had told the court that the main accused in the case, chiefly Om Prakash, had used two mobile phone connections registered in the name of Sunil to “almost relentlessly” communicate with the rest of the accused before and after the crime.

(An armed gang had ambushed Krishnakumar’s car with a well-aimed crude bomb that exploded on impact and hacked to him death in a piece of marshy land abutting the congested National Highway bypass near Chakkai at around 11.30 a.m. on February 20, 2007.)

In his statement to the police, Sunil had said Om Prakash had borrowed his phone on February 19 and returned it on February 20 and he had absolutely no part in the crime or its conspiracy.

The police had said in its charge-sheet that Sunil had housed Karate Suresh, one of Krishnakumar’s killers, under a false name in a lodge in the city.

However, the police did not name Sunil as an accused in the case on the ground that section 126 of the Evidence Act gave him the freedom as a lawyer to communicate freely with his clients and such communication was of a privileged nature and could not be adduced as evidence in a court of law.

During the trial, “Advocate” Sunil told the court that he was not an enrolled lawyer.

Moreover, the owner of the lodge, in which Suresh stayed under a false name, told the court that he had housed the accused at the instance of Sunil.

The court is scheduled to consider the prosecution’s plea on October 15. The prosecution case is that the accused killed Aprani Krishnakumar to further their business interests in the district, mainly reclamation of wetlands for construction.

For this, they mustered gangsters who had previous scores to settle with Aprani Krishnakumar. The accused allegedly plotted the murder, funded its execution and provided safe houses to the assailants.

The prosecution’s stance was that case had a direct bearing on public peace, as the victim and accused persons were feuding gang leaders who headed rival factions in the district's politically connected underworld.