In-camera trial sought in 2008 serial blasts case

In-camera trial sought in 2008 serial blasts case

The Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) in the 2008 serial blasts case has filed an application seeking in-camera trial following continuing intimidation of witnesses.

The SPP K K Seetharama has submitted that tampering and threatening of the
witnesses was going on unabated. The application stated that right from 2010 many witnesses had been threatened and these incidents were also brought to the notice of the court.

Ramachandran, a witness, had given written complaint to the trial court stating that he was threatened by unknown persons at the behest of the accused in the case. Recently, another witness, Roopesh, was threatened and this too was brought to the notice of the court, the prosecutor stated. The prosecution has submitted that 90 per cent of the witnesses from Kerala have turned hostile.

Ernakulam police have arrested one Shahnawaz for taking instructions from Tadiyantavide Nazeer from Parappana Agrahara prison to threaten witnesses. The prosecution apprehended that five important witnesses in the case should depose before the court in the coming days.

Witnesses vulnerable

“The prosecution apprehends that the witnesses are most vulnerable and prone to tampering and threatening. The Karnataka police cannot give protection to witnesses from Kerala.

“The court has got power to direct the law enforcing agencies in Kerala through Government of Kerala to ensure the protection of the witnesses,” the special public prosecutor submitted to the court.

In-camera trial requested

The prosecution has requested the court to hold in-camera trial and also to produce the accused through video conferencing. The prosecution has also requested the court to direct the media houses not to report the day-to-day trial proceedings. The 2008 serial blasts cases are tried on day-to-basis before 48th Additional City Civil and Sessions Court.
The terror acts had taken place in Bengaluru, while the accused and most of the witnesses are from Kerala.

The accused

Nineteen accused are in judicial custody, while one accused - Abdul Naseer Madani - is out on bail on health grounds. Out of the 20 accused, 11 have already been sentenced to for life by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Ernakulam for similar offences.

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