'Swapna naming CM': Lady cop may depose before magistrate to bolster case against ED

Kochi: The Crime Branch is planning to present a woman police personnel before a magistrate to record her statement against the Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials probing the case pertaining to the smuggling of gold through diplomatic baggage. The move is based on an expert legal opinion to strengthen the case against the ED by bringing it under the Evidence Act.

She had earlier stated that ED officials had put pressure on prime accused Swapna Suresh to provide evidence against the chief minister.

The cop, who was tasked with providing security to Swapna, had claimed that she had herself heard the central agency sleuths trying to force the accused into naming the chief minister during the interrogation on August 12 and 13, 2020,

The Crime Branch has received legal advice to get the same statement recorded by a magistrate.

ED, meanwhile, contested the woman officer's statement, saying it was factually incorrect and politically motivated.

The central intelligence agency had also reported that the lady cop, an office-bearer of the Police Association, has been facing political pressure to give a statement, implicating ED.

The ED, meanwhile, submitted before a court official documents showing Swapna was not interrogated on August 12, 2020. ED has received separate legal advice that the complaints Swapna had lodged before the court on August 14, and the court's observations, would be critical to the case.

Swapna had submitted before the court that the presence of a woman officer was not ensured when she was interrogated. Based on her complaint, the court ordered that she should be questioned only between 10 am and 5 pm, and in the presence of a woman officer.

The court documents question the credibility of the police officer. She had stated that she had heard ED officers questioning Swapna from close quarters, but the dates on which the questioning took place, as per her statement, were two days before the court order.

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