Cops to get letter rogatory issued to question Ligenza
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The Mumbai Police Crime Branch is planning to initiate the process of getting a letter rogatory (LR) issued to a court in Spain to question Nivis Ligenza, a German national residing in the country, in connection with the Arun Tikku murder probe.
The police had earlier stated that Ligenza was married to Vijay Palande, the main accused in the Tikku and Karan Kakad murder cases.
Mumbai Police Crime Branch officers said Ligenza was based in Barcelona, where she ran a garment export and import business.
"We want to question Ligenza to get details of her association with Palande, and whether she had any knowledge of his activities. The only way is for us to get a letter rogatory issued," confirmed Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy.
A letter rogatory - or a letter of request - is a formal written communication sent by a court in one country to a foreign court requesting judicial assistance. It is the only means by which police can can carry out investigations in a foreign country and gather evidence there that is admissible in a domestic court.
"Investigations reveal that Ligenza is based in Barcelona, where she has a business in garments. Palande was into the same business in Mumbai. We also learnt that Ligenza regularly sends money to Palande through Western Union Money Transfer," said Roy.
According to the Crime Branch, Palande had convinced Tikku's son Anuj to lease his plush apartment in Lokhandwala to Ligenza. Palande alleged told Anuj that she was attached to the German consulate. Ligenza, police say, was married to Palande. A lease for two years was registered in the Bandra-Kurla Complex on March 15 and Rs 5 lakh was to be paid as deposit and Rs 30,000 as monthly rent.
If the Crime Branch is able to question Ligenza, she could prove an important witness against Palande and the others arrested in the case. Crime Branch sources had earlier said they had identified 15 to 20 key witnesses to bolster the police's case in the two murders.
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