Nithyananda Tape Not Genuine: US Expert
Bangalore, Dec 2 (Bangalore Mirror): Following in the footsteps of journalist Vir Sanghvi and lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who got a ‘clean chit’ from foreign experts in ‘Radiagate’ and ‘Amargate’, Swami Nithyananda had hired a US expert to prove that the video tapes showing him engaging in sex with a woman were fake.
The expert’s report may or may not help Nithyananda in the charges against him that include rape, carnal intercourse, cheating and destruction of evidence.
Edward J Primeau, who has testified in many court cases in the US, has concluded that the video is “not genuine and authentic. It is not a representation of facts and events as they occurred. Furthermore, the video appears to be layered and not a composite video. As a video forensic expert, I recommend that this video be excluded from any factual relevance to the events that appear to be happening”. Primeau’s report is, however, not the last word. The police have a report from a government lab stating that the video is genuine.
The tape was made public by Nithyananda’s driver, Lenin Karuppan (Dharmananda). It was telecast by a Tamil television channel, leading to a spate of cases against Swami Nithyananda who spent 50 days in prison. The cases were transferred to Karnataka as it was believed that the video was shot in the swami’s ashram at Bidadi near Bangalore. The high court stayed the telecast of the video following a petition by an actress who was suspected of being the woman with Nithyananda.
Interestingly, the police are not using the video as evidence.
Nithyananda’s advocate KV Dhananjay said, “The video was mentioned in the FIR. The report of the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) on the video is also part of the charge sheet. However, the CD containing the video was not provided to the defence as the prosecution did not want to rely on it during the trial.”
Police sources said they are yet to take a final decision on using the tape during the trial.
A police source said, “The charge sheet was filed on November 23, 2010. Many developments have taken place since then.” Handing over the CD would be just a formality, which could happen any time before the trial begins, they said.
Dhananjay said, “The police made a reference to the CFSL report in the charge sheet, but seem reluctant to use the video as evidence in court. The video is, therefore, irrelevant to the criminal proceedings against Swami Nithyananda. The public has to choose between the report of a government-owned laboratory and a highly reputed forensic expert from the United States of America. The fact that the police have chosen not to rely on the video should help them decide. The entire public opinion against Nithyananda Swami is built on an unquestioned belief in the video.”
The US Expert
Edward Primeau was an audio engineer and video director before working as a probation officer in a court in Michigan, USA. He is a registered investigator who testifies on the veracity of video evidence in US courts.