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Salem retracts confession on murder case

The case in point is related to the murder of Ajit Dewani, former secretary to actor Manisha Koirala.

india Updated: Feb 15, 2006 21:05 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Extradited gangster Abu Salem and his alleged aide Shah Alam on Wednesday retracted their confession given to police in one of the murder cases, saying they had made it under duress.

The case in point is related to the murder of Ajit Dewani, former secretary to actor Manisha Koirala.

Both accused retracted their confession in a special court of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) where they were produced for remand in the Dewani murder case.

Salem told MCOCA Judge Abhay Thipsay that he was forced to make a confession by police and added that anyone in his place could have made such a confession given the treatment meted out by police.

His associate Alam had also made a confession before police and had appeared before magistrate for confirmation Tuesday. The magistrate has recorded Alam's statement denying that he had given a confession.

The magistrate's letter containing Alam's retraction of his confession was placed before MCOCA court which took it on record. The court also recorded Salem's plea retracting his confession and said it would be considered during the trial.

The court remanded the duo to judicial custody till March 1 while allowing police to interrogate Alam in the crime branch office between 9 am and 7 pm.

Later, Salem was produced before a Tada court which remanded him to judicial custody till Thursday.

The plea of Hyderabad police and Delhi police for Salem's custody in a passport forgery case and criminal case respectively would also be heard Thursday.

Salem is charged with planning the murder of Dewani through his men while Alam faces allegations of playing the role of a conduit between Salem and the killers.

Alam was arrested a fortnight ago, while Salem was taken into custody earlier this year after his extradition from Portugal in November 2005.

Dewani was murdered in 2001 allegedly by Salem's men as he refused to pay extortion money.

In the 1993 bomb blast case, Salem is facing the charge of distributing arms and ammunition to co-accused including an AK-56 rifle to film star Sanjay Dutt.

Dutt has denied the charge of possessing the rifle and witnesses in this case have also turned hostile.

According to CBI, the blasts were masterminded by underworld don Dawood Ibrahim on whose instructions Salem and other accused had allegedly distributed arms and ammunition.

First Published: Feb 15, 2006 13:33 IST