In a new development in the cash-for-vote case, the state forensic science lab confirmed on Thursday that the voices of the three accused recorded by the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) matched with samples collected from the Legislative Assembly and media channels.
The accused include TDP legislators Revanth Reddy, Sandra Venkata Veeraiah and party worker Mathias Jeruselam, the Times of India reported.
Now, the ACB is bracing itself to seek Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu's voice sample for tests.
Telangana TDP legislator A. Revanth Reddy was arrested by the ACB on May 31 when he was offering Rs.50 lakh to nominated MLA Stephenson to make him vote for the TDP-BJP candidate in the elections to Telangana legislative council.
ACB, which had laid a trap on a complaint by Stephenson, also arrested Revanth Reddy's aides. TRS leaders have been alleging that Naidu is the mastermind in the scam and he should be booked.
The ACB had earlier said that there were 516 telephone conversation records in another accused TDP leader Bishop Harry Sebastian's phone, of which 102 related to the cash-for-vote case.
However, the most important phone call was one alleged to be between Elvis Stephenson and Chandrababu Naidu.
The audio tape was first played by T News, a Telugu news channel owned by ruling TRS and was later picked up by others.
During the conversation, Naidu purportedly assured the nominated member that he is with him. "Our people briefed me. I am with you don't bother. For everything I am with you. What all they spoke we will honour," Naidu was heard as telling the legislator.
Complainant Elvis Stephenson statement before the magistrate claims that the phone call occured at 4 pm on May 30 and that the voice in the phone call was Naidu's.
The forensic lab had earlier said that the call was 'unedited.'
The TOI report adds:
Subsequently on August 14, as per the request of ACB through the court, Telangana Legislative Assembly authorities sent speech copies of accused MLAs Sandra Venkata Veeraiah and A Revanth Reddy to the forensic science laboratory for a voice-matching test. ACB also procured the copy of an interview given by Jerusalem to a local TV channel and sent it to FSL.
The forensic science lab has now confirmed that there is a match. The ACB is soon expected to ask for Naidu's voice sample through the court.