Faced Pressure from Accused to Drop Complaint, Says Brother of One of Victims of Kerala 'Cyanide' Murders

CNN-News18

Thiruvananthapuram: The prime accused in the sensational multiple murder case in Kerala was allegedly putting pressure on the complainant to withdraw it.

Rojo Joseph, brother of Roy Thomas and one of the victims, has said that accused Jolly Joseph, Roy's former wife, had been insisting the complaint raising suspicions over the serial murders in the family should be withdrawn. Jolly was recently arrested along with MS Mathew and Prajikumar over suspicions of killing Roy.

Rojo, who reached Kerala from the United States on Monday, had earlier filed a civil case against Jolly for forging documents to illegally grab the property owned by Tom Thomas Ponnamattam, Jolly’s father-in-law and Rojo’s father.

"When the case was nearing the mediation stage, Jolly had stated a condition that for the case to reach its logical end, the other complaint should be taken back. I did not agree and am treating the property dispute and this as completely different cases,” said Rojo.

Rojo added that he filed the other complaint after he became suspicious of Jolly’s contradictory statements over the several deaths.

The police on Tuesday recorded Rojo’s statement for about nine hours, continuing on Wednesday as well. Rojo came to the police station to record his statement with his sister, Renji Thomas.

Rojo said, “We haven't given any new document to the police. The investigation is based on existing evidence. Many of our suspicions have come true, but we were never expecting anything of this level.”

Stating that the case was progressing in the right direction, Rojo, who lost his parents — mother Annamma in 2002 and father Tom six years later — and brother Roy in 2011 to the serial murders, said, “Let everything come out. The dead and the living should get justice.”

Besides, three other deaths — that of Roy and Rojo’s uncle Mathew Manjadiyil (in February 2014), their cousin Shaju Zacharia’s wife Sili Shaju (in January 2016), and their two-year-old daughter Alphine Shaju (in May 2014) — are under the police scanner.

All the deaths took place over a period of 17 years and after consuming some kind of poison-laden food. Six teams have been formed to look into these six deaths.

Jolly is now married to Shaju.

Last Friday, Jolly was taken by police to various places, including the Ponamattil house, where three deaths had taken place — that of Annamma, Tom and Roy — in Kozhikode district for collecting evidence.

She and the two other accused were also taken to Shaju’s house, a dental clinic and the National Institute of Technology campus here, where she had falsely claimed to have been working as a lecturer.