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Foster case: Kohli retracts confession
August 18, 2004 21:46 IST
In a new twist to the rape and murder case of a British teenager Hannah Foster, prime suspect Maninder Pal Singh Kohli on Wednesday retracted his confessional statement made before electronic media saying it was 'not by my own will'.
"The confession by me before media in the presence of Punjab police officials recently was not by my own will," he told a group of advocates pleading his case in the presence of reporters in the court premises in Chandigarh.
Kohli, who was allowed by Chief Judicial Magistrate Paramvir Nijjar to be interviewed for ten minutes by his advocates, said he had surrendered before the West Bengal police after being persuaded to do so by his father-in-law and was not arrested as was being reported.
He alleged he was kept in illegal custody 'for some 12 days' by West Bengal police before showing his formal arrest.
The judge extended his judicial custody till August 25.
Kohli's counsel said their client alleged harassment of his family by Punjab police.
They quoted him as saying: "I (Kohli) was made an accused by the Punjab Police in passport forgery case. However, the same police have sought my discharge from the case, but my brothers and other family members are still part of the FIR."
Kohli alleged money power was being used to tilt the case.
For the first time since his arrest, his case was pleaded by lawyers. A battery of advocates owing allegiance to 'Lawyers For Human Rights International' moved applications to plead Kohli's case after the Central Bureau of Investigation produced him here on completion of his judicial remand.
On an application moved by the CBI, the judge granted permission to the agency to handcuff Kohli while being brought to the court from jail.
Kohli is alleged to have raped and killed 17-year-old Hannah Foster in UK. He escaped to India after committing the crime and was caught in Kalimpong last month.