ED banking on Swapna statement to counter crime branch in court – The New Indian Express

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Express press service

KOCHI: Swapna Suresh, summoned by the Law Enforcement Branch while out on bail in the gold smuggling case, on Tuesday asked for more time to appear before the agency. As reported by TNIE, the investigator – R Radhakrishnan, Deputy Director, ED (Kochi) – issued a summons to Swapna on Monday asking him to appear in person or through an authorized representative at 11 a.m. Wednesday with documents including last two passport-size photographs. In her response, she asked for time citing health issues and said she was ready to appear before the officer on February 15.

“We will record his statement following his recent revelation. This is to reconfirm the statements she made earlier. We believe it will be useful for us to go further, including in the cases against us pending before the Supreme Court and the High Court. As she is not in custody in the emergency room, she comes voluntarily. Therefore, there will be no allegation that the agency coerced her into giving statements,” an ED officer said.

The crime branch had registered two FIRs against “anonymous officers” of ED. One was based on the audio clip of Swapna alleging she was forced to give a statement against the Chief Minister in the gold smuggling case and the second was based on a complaint by Sandeep Nair, another accused in the case.

The ED had challenged the two FIRs of the HC which overturned them, but the single judge allowed the trial court to review the documents collected by the crime branch to prove that the ED agents had tried to fabricate proofs. ED then approached the SC against this directive. The Supreme Court suspended the directive at the lower court and the case is pending before it.

Meanwhile, the state government’s appeal against the Single Judge’s order quashing the FIRs is pending in the High Court. The ED officer told TNIE that recording his statements based on the new revelation will help the agency bolster its case in these cases. In her recent revelation, Swapna said ED officials did not pressure her to name the CM in the case.

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