Solar scam accused fails to retrieve video evidence

Coimbatore/Kochi: On a day of dramatic turn of events in the solar panel scam probe, the prime accused in the case today failed to ‘discover’ purported video clippings in which six ‘powerful’ Kerala politicians, including Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, were seen talking to his partner Saritha S Nair and ‘enaging in wrong situations’.

Biju Radhakrishnan, allowed by the judicial commission probing the scam to visit a locality in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu to retrieve the purported videos, told waiting reporters that somebody had taken away the pen-drive and CD containing the clippings.

The accused had claimed that he had handed over the CD and pen-drive in a bag to one of his relatives here some 18 months ago.

“Somebody has already taken away the CD and pen-drive,” he shouted as he was being whisked away to a vehicle by police personnel at Selvapuram in Coimbatore tonight.

Earlier, as per the directive of the Justice G Sivarajan Commission, a team of four Kerala officials with an advocate arrived here late in the evening with Biju Radhakrishnan and located the house in Selvapuram.

However, as he emerged out of the house, Radhakrishnan said the CDs could not be found.

Police said the bag was found but it only contained some mobile phone SIM cards and documents.

The team later left for Kerala.

Earlier in the day, the commission at its sitting in Kochi rejected Radhakrishnan’s application seeking more time to produce the materials that he had claimed to have kept hidden.

He submitted that he was serving life term in jail in a case so that more time is required to produce the material.

The commission rejected his demand, saying he has levelled sensational allegations against those at the helm of the government and “it shall not hang as a Sword of Damocles” over their heads.

Turning down his plea that his lawyer also be allowed to go with him to the spot where the video clippings are kept, the commission sent its advocate Harikumar, two of its police personnel and two police personnel from the armed police along with him.

Deposing before the Commission on December 2, Radhakrishnan had said he had shown the videos of five politicians with Saritha to the Chief Minister.

He, however, did not deliberately show the sixth person’s video as it was reportedly the CM himself. “I have evidence with me to prove this. I will produce it, if required,” he had said in his deposition recorded on December 2.

Radhakrishnan, serving life term in jail for murder of his first wife, said he had met Chandy while he was on the run following the arrest of Saritha after the scam came to light.

Both the Chief Minister as well as Saritha have denied his allegations.