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Narco-analysis test sought for Catholic priest
Kerala police say suspects made contradictory statements following girlâ€™s death
- ucanews.com reporter, Kochi
- January 7, 2011
Vinson M. Paul, additional director general of police crime investigations, told ucanews.com today that the test was necessary after police found contradictions in the priestâ€™s statements during preliminary investigations.
A narco-analysis test involves the use of drugs to aid an official investigation.
Father Mathew Moonnattinmugham is the assistant director of â€śAccept,â€ť an addiction rehabilitation center in the Syro-Malabar Changanacherry archdiocese.
Shreya Benny, 12, was found dead Oct. 17, 2010 in a pond at the center.
According to police, the girl was among 50 children who attended a personality development camp the archdiocese organized at the institute.
Father Moonnattinmugham, 36, says he is willing to undergo any legally permissible test.
â€śIâ€™m innocent and Iâ€™ve nothing to hide,â€ť he told ucanews.com today.
The priest said he had fully cooperated with police when they questioned him earlier so that they could catch â€śthe real culprits.â€ť
He said he was shocked at local media reports that named him a prime suspect in the girlâ€™s murder.
â€śItâ€™s very painful and sad. I would have no objection the media punishing me if I had committed a crime,â€ť he added.
The law does not permit the police to conduct a narco test without the priestâ€™s permission, according to lawyer A. Jayashanker.
Whatever statement the priest has made during police interrogation can be challenged, he added.
Father Paul Thelakat, spokesperson of the Syro-Malabar Church, says the case is another example of Keralaâ€™s communist government targeting the Church
â€śI believe it is a simple case of drowning because the girl had a history of somnambulism and was treated for it,â€ť the Church official explained.
Oriental-rite Catholics commemorate struggle against communists