DySP Haridasan R, one of the officers probing the murders, confirmed that the chargesheet will be submitted in the next 3 or 4 days.

Koodathayi murders Kerala police to file first chargesheet against Jolly Joseph
news Koodathayi murders Friday, December 27, 2019 - 16:19

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the sensational Koodathayi serial murders in Kerala, which have earned the moniker of ‘Jolly murders’, is likely to file its first chargesheet by the end of the year. 

49-year-old Jolly is the prime suspect in each of the six deaths in a family, which took place over 14 years. The chargesheet will be filed in the murder of Roy Thomas, Jolly’s first husband.

Speaking to TNM, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) Haridasan R, who leads the SIT along with Kozhikode Rural SP KG Simon, said that the team was likely to file the chargesheet within the next three to four days. 

“We first took Jolly Joseph into custody on October 5 after reopening Roy Thomas’ murder case. The case had been closed earlier stating suicide. We are planning to file the chargesheet before January 2020 as we do not want to wait until the 90-day time period is over. We only have a few days left, so it likely that the chargesheet will be submitted soon,” DYSP Haridasan said. According to the DySP, the 90-day period (to file chargesheet after the arrest) ends on January 2.

Roy Thomas is the only person among the six deceased family members on whom a postmortem was done. The postmortem report stated that traces of cyanide had been found in Roy’s body at the time of death. This report could be a crucial piece of scientific evidence that the police may use in the chargesheet to create a watertight case against Jolly.

Roy’s post-mortem was done at the insistence of his uncle Mathew Manjadiyil, who also died under mysterious circumstances later. Jolly has been accused of poisoning him. 

No autopsy was done on any of the five other deceased members of the family - Roy’s mother and Jolly’s mother-in-law Annamma Thomas, father-in-law Tom Thomas, Annamma’s brother Mathew Manjadiyil, Cily and two-year-old Alphine.

Cily was the wife of Shaju, who Jolly then married. Alphine was Shaju and Cily’s daughter. 

Apart from Jolly Joseph, the chargesheet in Roy Thomas’ death will also name two other persons as accused — Roy’s relative MS Mathew and his friend Prajikumar. Both of them have been accused of helping Jolly procure cyanide.

As for the deaths of the other members of the family, the police will require strong scientific evidence that they had been poisoned to death in order to prepare a watertight case against Jolly. In October 2019, the bodies of all six deceased were exhumed and their remains were sent for forensic tests to identify traces of poison. 

According to reports, the police have decided to file the chargesheet in the Roy Thomas murder case and wait for the forensic results in the other five cases. 

“We were planning to submit the chargesheet before the 90 day period. It was for the alleged murder of Roy Thomas — after we reopened the case based on a complaint by Roy’s brother Rojo — that Jolly was first arrested. The other deaths came to light after we began probing this case. So, we have decided to proceed to the next step with regard to this particular case,” DySP Haridasan added. 

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