Raviraj murder appeal case fixed for support on Dec.12

 

The appeal filed by the wife of former TNA Jaffna district MP Nadaraja Raviraj challenging the Colombo High Court’s judgment to release the five accused, including three Navy intelligence officers, in the Raviraj murder case was yesterday re-fixed for support on December 12 by the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal two-judge-bench bench comprising Justice Kumuduni Wickremesinghe and Justice Preethi Padman Surasena were informed that the second respondent accused, a navy officer was evading court.

The aggrieved party, Sasikala Raviraj, wife of the slain MP filed this appeal seeking an order to set aside the verdict of the Colombo High Court dated December 23, 2016 to acquit and release all accused from the case.

On December 23, 2016, three Navy intelligence officers and two others, accused in the Raviraj murder, were acquitted and released from the case after they were found not guilty by jury trial.

The verdict which was delivered by High Court Judge Manilal Waidyatilleke as per the unanimous decision reached by the jury, following a month long trial. The jury’s decision was that the accused cannot be convicted based on the evidence in the case.

The petitioner further sought an order to set aside the order of the High Court allowing the request of the accused for the case to be tried before a jury. The petitioner stated that a trial by jury cannot be accepted in this case since three charges out of five had been levelled under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).

The High Court allowed the Raviraj murder trial to proceed in absentia of the three accused Palana Sami Suresh alias Sami, Sivakanthan Vivekanandan alias Charan and Fabian Royston Toussaint who were evading Court since the initiation of investigations.

The indictments were filed against six accused Palana Sami Suresh alias Sami, Prasad Chandana Kumara alias Sampath, Gamini Seneviratne, Pradeep Chaminda alias Vajira, Sivakanthan Vivekanandan alias Charan and Fabian Royston Toussaint on five counts, including committing the murder of Raviraj and his security officer Lokuwella Murage Laksman under the provisions of the PTA and Penal Code. Three accused who were not present before Court, had been identified as ex-LTTE cadres affiliated to the Karuna faction. Wijeya Wickrema Manamperige Sanjaya Preethi Viraj was made state witness in the Raviraj murder trial.

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