THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Police in Thiruvallam have arrested a 54-year-old man for allegedly threatening a witness in the case related to the rape and murder of Latvian Liga woman Skromane in Kovalam to turn hostile. The arrest is Jayapalan who hails from Thiruvallam.
According to the police, the suspect threatened the witness named Pradeep, from Vandithadam, on Friday. Jayapalan is a local leader of a communal organization and a relative of the accused in the rape and murder case. Police said special police patrols have started keeping tabs on witnesses’ residences following threats. The trial in this case is due to begin on June 1. It is a case that has caused a lot of controversy in Kerala. The incident was also noticed abroad as the victim was a foreign woman.
Last year, La Liga sister Ilze Skromane went to the Kerala High Court demanding a speedy trial in the case. According to reports, Ilze has requested an expedited court and the appointment of a female judge to hear the case. Liga, 33, who lived in Dublin, was abducted, sexually assaulted and murdered after arriving in India for traditional treatment for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Liga disappeared from an Ayurvedic center on March 14, 2018.
His decomposed body was found in a mangrove forest in Panathura near Kovalam on April 20. The special investigation team which investigated the case concluded that Liga had been strangled to death. Local police had arrested a caterer and a tour guide in connection with the murder. But following a delay in the filing of the indictment by the police, the two defendants managed to get out on bail.
Shortly after his murder, La Liga partner Andrew Jordan said he was unhappy with the local police investigation and demanded a CBI investigation. Jordan also said La Liga could have been saved if the police had acted quickly.