Breaking her 10-day silence, Indrani Mukerjea has admitted to plotting the murder of her daughter Sheena Bora, police sources said, adding that her husband Peter Mukerjea will be made a key witness against her.
Indrani, a former media tycoon, had maintained a stoic silence since her arrest on August 25, refusing to cooperate with the police. On Thursday, she finally broke after investigators confronted her with contradictions in her statements that did not match Peter's answers to the same questions, the sources said.
She admitted to plotting the murder with ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna, sending him flight tickets and booking a hotel room for him in Worli, conducting a reconnaissance of Raigad a day before the murder on April 23, 2012, but denied having strangled Sheena, they said.
While her statement to the police has no legal value - a statement is admissible in court as evidence only if it has been recorded before a magistrate - it will help the Mumbai Police gather valuable evidence against the accused, the sources said.
Indrani has been pronounced main conspirator in the case while Khanna and her driver Shyamwar Rai are co-accused. They are suspected of strangling Sheena in a rented car in a Mumbai bylane on the night of April 24, 2012 and disposing of her body by burning and then burying it in a secluded forest area in Raigad district the next day.
Peter, former Star India CEO, and Indrani were both questioned separately at Khar police station on Thursday. Indrani was once again given a glimpse of her husband at the station.
The police said they had decided to make Peter a prosecution witness as he had given them necessary information on his family members as well as documentary details of all his financial transactions - which, the sources said, would help establish the motive behind the murder.
The police are now corroborating Indrani's version with those of the other accused and the statements recorded by witnesses.