HC acquits 8 in Paul Muthoot George murder case

Setting aside a special CBI court order, the Kerala High Court on Thursday acquitted eight people in the infamous Paul Muthoot George murder case of 2009, saying the prosecution was unable to prove the charges beyond any doubt.

A bench comprising justices A.M Shaffique and N. Anil Kumar allowed the appeal of eight accused and cancelled the life term awarded by a CBI court in 2015.

Second accused Kari Satheesh had not filed the appeal against the CBI court order.

"The prosecution could not prove the charges against the accused beyond doubt," the court said.

First accused Jayachandran, third accused Zathar, fourth accused Sujith, fifth accused Akash Sasidharan, sixth accused Satheesh Kumar, seventh accused Rajeev Kumar, eighth accused Shino Paul and ninth accused Faizal Paul were acquitted by the court in the case.

However, the court said that a few other charges, including voluntarily causing hurt and wrongful restraint, will stand.

George (32) was murdered on August 22, 2009 at Nedumudi in Alappuzha district.

According to the prosecution, it was the second accused, Satheesh, who had stabbed George after a verbal duel over a road accident.

The group of assailants, led by Jayachandran, were on their way for another contract killing but saw George's car ramming into a motorcycle and leaving without stopping. The assailants chased down George's car and questioned him about the accident, leading to a war of words, eventually ending with Kari Satheesh stabbing George to death.