Judicial custody extended for three accused of Kerala nun’s murder

December 29th, 2008 - 4:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Kochi, Dec 29 (IANS) In response to a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) petition, a court here Monday extended the judicial custody of the three people accused of having murdered Sister Abhaya in 1992.The CBI requested the court of the chief judicial magistrate not to grant bail to Father Jose Putarika, Father Thomas Kottor and Sister Seffi because it would affect the investigation of the case, which is in its closing stages.

The court extended the judicial custody of the three accused till Jan 12.

The body of Sister Abhaya, a resident of Pius X Hostel, was found in the well of the Kottayam convent March 27, 1992.

The three accused were arrested Nov 19 by a CBI team - the 13th after 12 earlier teams failed to crack the case. While Putarika is a former Malayalam professor at the Kottayam college where Abhaya studied, Kottor is the Diocesan chancellor of the Catholic Church at Kottayam and Seffi was a resident of the convent when the incident took place.

The counsel for the CBI told the court Monday that Seffi had hit Abhaya thrice with an axe in the room next to the kitchen of the convent. Later, an unconscious Abhaya was dropped into the well of the convent.

The CBI has also filed a remand report, which states that more arrests would be made in the case shortly.

The Knanaya Catholic Church, to which the three arrested belong, has been insisting that they are innocent.

The CBI had questioned their Archbishop Mathew Mulekattu for over two hours last month.

The next hope for the accused is in the bail application that has been moved in the high court.

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