Four more prosecution witnesses in the Sankararaman murder case, in which Kanchi Sankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi and junior acharya Vijayendra Saraswathi are the prime accused, turned hostile during the trial in a court here on Friday.
Four of the five prosecution witnesses examined by Special Public Prosecutor N. Devadoss before Principal and District Sessions Judge D. Krishnaraja contradicted their earlier statements made to the police.
Of the 24 accused in the case, only 11 were present. The absentees included the two seers who have been charged under IPC sections of 120-B (conspiracy) and 302 (murder).
The Judge adjourned the hearings to April 22.
Mr. Devadoss later told reporters that 37 more witnesses were slated to be examined in the next hearing on April 22 and 23.
So far, 72 prosecution witnesses have been examined and 40 have turned hostile.
Sankararaman, Manager of Varadaraja Perumal temple in Kancheepuram, was murdered in the temple premises on September 3, 2004. The Supreme Court had shifted the trial to Puducherry in October, 2005 on a petition by Jayendra Saraswathi.