Thiruvananthapuram: A Fast Track Court today sentenced five accused, including three engineering students to life imprisonment, on charges of murdering a gem dealer in December 2012.
Judge K K Sujatha, who found them guilty yesterday, also imposed a fine of Rs three lakh on each of them.
The court imposed life imprisonment on the accused on two different charges with a direction to run the sentence concurrently.
The accused are Rakhil, Ragesh and Joseph, engineering students, and M Jithesh and Ajeesh, stated to be the brain behind the crime. They were found guilty, among other charges, for criminal conspiracy, murder, forgery and committing dacoity
The case pertains to the murder of Harihara Varma (59), stated be a member of the erstwhile Mavelikkara royal family, allegedly to get the precious stones he possessed.
He was smothered to death by the accused using chloroform in the house owned by his friend Haridas` daughter at nearby Puthoorkonam on December 24, 2012.
The prosecution case was that the accused approached Varma under the guise of buying gemstones and escaped with the stones after murdering him.
The court had acquitted sixth accused Haridas, an acquaintance of the deceased, for lack of evidence.