The appeal filed by the wife of slain TNA Jaffna district MP Nadaraja Raviraj, was yesterday re-fixed for support on February 16, by the Court of Appeal.

Mrs. Raviraj is challenging the Colombo High Court’s judgment to release the five accused, including three Navy intelligence officers, in the Raviraj murder case

Court of Appeal Judge, Justice Kumuduni Wickremesinghe re-fixed the matter for support since the Bench was not properly constituted.

The aggrieved party, Sashikala 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 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 to proceed with the Raviraj murder trial 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 Lakshman under the provisions of the PTA and Penal Code.

The three accused who were not present before Court, were 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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