Contradicting versions by Press Club secretary, channel reporter

A day after he testified before the Crime Branch investigating the cases against Monson Mavunkal, a self-styled antique dealer, the Ernakulam Press Club secretary P. Sasikanth issued a statement on Thursday.

He was summoned in connection with the sponsoring of the club’s annual gathering last year by the accused. Mr. Sasikanth said that Monson’s sponsorship of ₹5 lakh towards the food expenses was arranged by the district executive committee member, Sahin Antony, former television channel reporter, who is in the dock for his alleged close relations with the accused.

Mr. Sasikanth claimed that ₹10 lakh was transferred by Monson to his personal account, reportedly owing to troubles with the Press Club account. Of that, ₹5 lakh was to be paid to Sahin, as apparently Monson owed Sahin that amount, and the rest to the resort that hosted the event, Mr. Sasikanth claimed. He claimed to have neither met nor contacted Monson ever but admitted to a serious error of judgment.

In a separate statement, Mr. Antony accused Mr. Sasikanth of lying. He said that he and Mr. Sasikanth had met Monson thrice in connection with the sponsorship for which Mr. Sasikanth promised him a commission of 20%.

He even claimed to have questioned Mr. Sasikanth over the transfer of money to Mr. Sasikanth’s personal account and returned to the secretary ₹50,000 received in excess of the commission.

Mr. Antony accused Mr. Sasikanth of having met him twice with the request not to reveal the transfer of funds to the latter’s personal account and discouraged him from revealing the truth before the Press Club committee meeting on the issue.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2021 2:16:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/contradicting-versions-by-press-club-secretary-channel-reporter/article37115544.ece

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