Abhaya murder case: Fr. Kottoor Sr Sephy awarded lifer
Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 23: A CBI court has awarded Father Thomas Kottoor, a double life in connection with the Sister Abhaya murder case. Another accused, Sister Sephy has been sentenced to imprisonment for life in a case that goes back to. 1992.The court also imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh on both the convicts.
Both Father Kottoor and Sister Sephy were held guilty by the court on Tuesday. They were found guilty of murder, house trespassing to commit a crime and destruction of evidence.
The case goes back to March 1992 when Sister Abhaya, a Catholic nun, was found dead in a water well of her convent in Kottayam. The CBI submitted that the Abhaya case is one of the oldest criminal pending cases in the state and the spread of COVID cannot be projected as a reason for further delaying disposal of the case.
Father Thomas Kottoor, who was a Vicar and taught Sister Abhaya psychology at the BCM College in Kottayam was arrested in 2008. He was also the Secretary to the then Bishop and later went on to become Chancellor of the Catholic Diocese in Kottayam.
Sister Sephy was staying with Sister Abhaya in the same hostel. She was also the de-factor in-charge of the hostel.
The CBI said that Sister Abhaya was witness to intimate contacts between Kottoor, Father Jose Jose Poothrikkayil, and Sephy on March 27, 1992.
The CBI said that Sister Abhaya went to the kitchen at around 4.15 am. The accused hit her with a blunt object and to cover up the crime, threw her into a well. The police and crime branch had initially labelled the death as a suicide. Poothrikkayil, one of those initially accused, was acquitted by a CBI special court in 2018, but the discharge applications of Kottoor and Sephy were rejected.
The case was later handed over to the CBI. In November 2008, all the accused were arrested by the CBI.