Kerala sleaze audio: HC denies bail to channel CEO

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Kerala sleaze audio: HC denies bail to channel CEO

Thiruvananthapuram, April 12 (IANS) The Kerala High Court on Wednesday denied bail to Mangalam TV CEO R. Ajithkumar and his senior colleague K. Jayachandran in the sleaze audio case, but accepted the pleas of three other journalists arrested in the case.

The court observed that the two need to be kept in judicial custody as the laptop and pen drive which contained the lewd conversation of Transport Minister A.K. Saseendran with a woman on phone, has, according to the CEO, been stolen and have to be recovered for the case to go ahead.

The five journalists were arrested last week for airing the audio on March 26 — the day the channel was launched. The issue led to a political furore and within hours, Saseendran announced his resignation.

Following his resignation, the Pinarayi Vijayan government announced judicial and police probes.

Soon after this, Ajithkumar went live on air to confess it was a sting operation and not a real incident as they claimed earlier and tendered an unconditional apology.

The channel said the woman who spoke to Saseendran was one of their staffers and not a housewife, who had come to meet the minister, as claimed by the channel, ever since the news was telecast.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.