On Friday, after being released on bail, in an exclusive interview with Reporter Live, he made some revelations regarding the removal of data from Dileep’s mobile phones. He confessed to helping Dileep tamper with the data on the mobile phones, on January 29 and 30.
The cyber expert had earlier taken off to Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh, when police were on the lookout for him.
Dileep is currently under trial as the chief conspirator behind the 2017 female actor abduction and sexual assault and is also being investigated for allegedly plotting to kill officers involved in that case.
It may be noted that as per HC’s order, Dileep and the other accused had submitted their mobile phones as part of the probe in the conspiracy to murder case. The crime branch had earlier stated that data in phones had been tampered with.
Later, it was found that Sankar had cleared data from the phones in question. He had also reportedly gone to the house of Dileep’s lawyer and had accessed Wi-Fi from there, as well as the hotels he had stayed at.
In his confession, Sankar said, “Dileep had told me what needed to be deleted from the phones, in the presence of his counsel. He was present with me for around 4-5 hours. He said that during a forensic examination, only the data we keep on top should be made visible and the main evidence should not be found. They asked me to remove around 300 to 400 documents. I did not use the shredding method to remove the information. Instead, I loaded junk data. First, we removed the original data and then on top of it, we loaded unimportant data.”
He added that the 12 chats retrieved by the forensic team were fake and the original chats cannot be recovered. “But it is possible for me to retrieve it. I can recover whatever data has been erased from this phone. In my perspective, the evidence that they had asked me to erase was mostly related to the female actor assault case,” he mentioned.
Sankar said that he had not received any big monetary benefits but took up the job due to the respect he had for senior lawyer B Raman Pillai.
Earlier, Sankar had filed a petition to the Kerala High Court stating that crime branch officials had harassed him into giving a statement against Dileep. Now, he revealed that Dileep’s counsel had created a false petition and had told him that they were applying for an anticipatory bail plea for him. He reiterated that he was unaware that the lawyers were going to file a harassment complaint.
He further noted that he destroyed evidence despite the court’s order and regretted doing the same. Moreover, he said that Dileep’s counsel had reportedly failed to offer him protection and hence, he decided to reveal the truth. Noting that there is a threat to his life, he requested the court for recording his statements of confession (section 164 in CRPC).
The police had previously seized the iMac laptop allegedly used by Sankar to delete data from the phones. Sankar has said that it was the secondary device and the main devices used by him–iMac, laptop, pendrive and hard disk–were taken by Dileep’s counsel, Philip T Varghese.
Meanwhile, an audio clip of Dileep’s brother-in-law Suraj speaking with a former witness Dr Hyderali has emerged. It was reported that Suraj was heard requesting the doctor to speak in favour of Dileep, as per the instructions of the lawyer.
In the aftermath of the incident, Dileep had claimed that he was admitted to the hospital for fever at the time of the actor’s assault. When the doctor was called to give a statement, he first denied Dileep’s admission to the hospital. Later, the witness turned hostile after being influenced by Suraj.
Another audio clip of Dileep speaking with his lawyer Sujesh Menon, has also surfaced, where the lawyer is heard telling the actor that he had already seen the visuals of the assault.