Kerala High Court today granted bail to Swiss national Jonathan Baud, arrested for allegedly attending a memorial function for a Maoist activist at Valappad in Thrissur district on July 28. Justice Abraham Mathew directed Baud to deposit Rs one lakh in cash and to surrender his passport.
He also ordered that after his release the accused should produce an undertaking from the Swiss embassy to the effect that they shall make available the accused for investigation or trial, after which the passport can be released to him. The case against him was registered alleging that he had violated conditions of his tourist visa. His bail plea was earlier rejected by a lower court.
Twentyfour year old Baud, who arrived in Kerala on July 10, claimed he had not committed any crime as alleged by police.
He contended that he was the only foreigner to have watched the meeting at Kodungallur. The representatives, details of whom he was not aware of, enquired about his identity and he informed that he was on a visit to the country. This incident was 'twisted' by the investigating authority leading to the registration of crime under sect 14 (b) of the Foreigners Act, he stated.
According to Police, Baud attended the meeting organised in memory of Sinoj of Valappad, a Maoist activist from Kerala who was killed while making country bombs in Andhra-Karnataka border last month. Some Maoist literature had been recovered from him.
Jonathan arrived in Kerala with a woman companion and had visited Kannur and other parts of the state before arriving in Thrissur on July 28.