Exorcism trial: sister claims woman can fake trances

Lawyer slams private eye’s surveillance footage

The private investigator who monitored Madam Amutha Valli Krishnan for almost five months, and had over 700 hours of video surveillance footage, took the stand yesterday in the exorcism trial.

Madam Amutha, 52, claims she was the victim of a forced exorcism at the Novena Church on 10 Aug 2004 and is seeking compensation of at least $250,000.

She is suing the Redemptorist Order which runs the church, two priests and six church-goers who allegedly helped in the ritual.

Mr Gilbert De Silva, 46, told the court that he and his operatives filmed Madam Amutha between 29 Dec 2006 and 12 May 2007.

Madam Amutha’s lawyer, Mr R S Bajwa, panned the production as unprofessional, misleading, and not based on true events.

Mr Bajwa took offence with one of the DVDs being labelled by the surveillance team as ‘Physco Lady’, which was a misspelling of ‘Psycho Lady’.

Mr De Silva apologised in court for that label.

Mr Bajwa accused the former police officer, who told the court he is Catholic, of being biased and prejudiced against Madam Amutha.

He said: ‘You feel the lady was wrong and the priests were right.’

Mr De Silva denied this.

Mr Bajwa continued to chastise Mr De Silva on his apparent lack of professionalism in the way he conducted his surveillance.

Mr Bajwa accused him of filming only selected situations, citing an example where there was another gap of 51 minutes on that same day that had not been filmed.

– Source: Lawyer slams private eye’s surveillance footage, Andre Yeho, The Electric Paper, Singapore, July 18, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

Exorcism case: Sister says plaintiff’s claims untrue

The younger sister of Madam Amutha Valli Krishnan, testifying for the people her sister has sued, on Thursday said she believed her sister’s claims were untrue, but she still loved her.

Madam Santha Krishnan, 48, gave an account of Madam Valli’s history going into peculiar trances from her teenage years. She spoke of their stormy relationship, listing a litany of instances in which Madam Valli had treated her badly.

The sisters have not spoken to each other in 14 years. Before they severed ties in 1994, she said that Madam Valli had talked about a plan to use a mental illness to get $200,000.

Madam Santha came forward to testify for the defendants after reading a newspaper report about the lawsuit last year – she was convinced that Madam Valli had pulled off a fake trance.

Madam Santha said her sister can speak in a man’s voice and go into a trance at will, or act as if she was in one. She first saw Madam Valli, then 18, go into a trance at home – hissing, slithering like a snake on the floor and asking for milk and eggs.

– Source: Exorcism case: Sister says plaintiff’s claims untrue, Selina Lum, The Straits Times, Singapore, July 17, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog
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Religion News Blog posted this on Friday July 18, 2008.
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