‘Why is the company in your wife’s name?’
‘It just is.’
‘And who introduced you to Giles?’ asked Peterson, even though they knew the answer.
‘Andrea, of course.’ Igor grinned.
‘And does your wife know about Andrea?’
‘What do you think?’
‘Did she know about your relationship with Barbora Kardosova?’
‘My wife is a good woman!’
‘What does that mean? She knows when to keep her mouth shut? Looks the other way? Does she know you are involved in the trafficking of young Eastern European girls to London? That you pick them up at Victoria Coach Station?’ asked Erika.
‘My client doesn’t have to answer these questions. This is mere speculation. You have no evidence,’ interrupted the solicitor.
‘We have a recorded interview with Barbora Kardosova where she states all of this, and that you murdered Nadia Greco.’
‘And where is this witness?’ asked the solicitor.
‘She committed suicide shortly after the interview,’ said Erika, watching Igor. ‘She was so scared of speaking the truth about you, that she killed herself.’
‘I hardly call that a credible witness, a suicidal woman. And this wasn’t a sworn deposition,’ said the solicitor.
Igor sat back in his chair, smug and confident.
Igor’s solicitor continued. ‘Whilst you have been flitting between interview rooms, I took the opportunity to review the trial documents in question. What you claim is nothing more than that: a claim. Great swathes of the trial records have been redacted. From a legal standpoint, they don’t exist. You realise that very soon you are going to have to charge my client? Time is ticking, Miss Foster.’
‘It’s DCI Foster,’ said Erika, trying to hide her frustration. She added that she was suspending the interview, and after reading out the time stamp for the tape, she and Peterson left.
Erika, Moss, and Peterson were about to file into interview room three to speak to Linda, when the solicitor reminded them that legally their suspects were due a meal break. An hour later, and it was late afternoon. The day seemed to be vanishing.
‘Linda, do you know why we’ve arrested you?’ asked Erika.
Linda sat back in her chair, cool and collected. ‘You think I have information. You think that I knew someone who killed Andrea? You think I killed Andrea, or perhaps you think I shot JR? Or President Kennedy.’
‘This isn’t funny, Linda. This is Igor Kucerov; he’s also been using the name George Mitchell. Andrea was involved in a sexual relationship with him before and while she was with Giles,’ said Erika, pushing his photo across the table.
Linda stared at the photos laid out in front of her, regarding the explicit ones impassively.
‘We know he took this photo of you and Andrea,’ Erika added.
‘You don’t know that,’ Linda sniffed, her eyes darting between the officers. ‘How can you know that?’
‘Because we’ve arrested Igor Kucerov on suspicion of Andrea’s murder, and the murders of Tatiana Ivanova, Mirka Bratova, Karolina Todorova and Ivy Norris. Right now he’s in being interviewed in the next room,’ said Erika.
‘You’re lying, and I don’t talk to liars. Do I have to talk to these liars?’ asked Linda, looking to her solicitor.
‘Do you have evidence that this photo of my client was taken by the man you state?’ asked the solicitor.
Erika ignored him. ‘Do you remember a girl called Barbora; she was friend of Andrea’s?’
‘She accompanied your family on a couple of summer holidays?’
‘She was sweet; perhaps a little too sweet – and eager. Even so, too good for Andrea, and surprise, surprise, Andrea chased her away.’
‘How did she chase her away?’
‘Oh, the usual. At first she thought Barbora was the bee’s knees, then her excitement cooled and she made the girl feel like the poor relative. When she joined us on our last holiday, Barbora had lost a lot of weight; she was emaciated. Andrea thought it was the height of fashion. That was probably enough to excommunicate the poor girl.’
‘Did Andrea say where Barbora went?’
‘She just said she moved away. Why?’ asked Linda, narrowing her eyes.
Erika explained Barbora’s connection to Igor, and that she had been sexually involved with Igor at the same time as Andrea.
‘May I remind you that this information has been redacted,’ said the solicitor.
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