Indore: Irfan, an accused in the RTI activist Shehla Masood murder case who has now turned approver, on Friday claimed before the trial court here that he did not speak the truth earlier as a co-accused had offered him money and also threatened him if he did otherwise.
During the cross examination before the special CBI judge Rajiv Kumar Ayachi, the defence lawyer today questioned Irfan on his varying statements before the court.
In reply, Irfan claimed that the co-accused Shaquib Ali alias Danger had offered him money to make false statements before the court, and also threatened him.
Therefore he did not tell the court earlier that it was Tabish, a hired assassin, who had shot Masood dead, he said, adding that later his "conscience" forced him to reveal the truth.
After telling the truth he was feeling better, Irfan said.
Meanwhile, defence lawyer Avinash Sirpurkar took a strong exception to Irfan being taken to CBI prosecutor's room before the proceedings began, alleging that he was tutored there about how to face the cross-examination.
Yesterday, Irfan told the court for the first time that Tabish shot Masood dead on August 16, 2011 outside her house in Bhopal. Irfan added that he himself was present on the spot at the time; he took part in the crime because he needed money for his sister's wedding.
According to CBI, interior designer Zahida Pervez, the prime accused in the case, hatched the conspiracy to kill Masood, because she was jealous of Masood's closeness to former BJP MLA Dhruv Narayan Singh.