Prosecution witness remanded till July 11

Prosecution witness, former L.T.T.E Intelligence Head of the Verugal area Sumathipala Suresh in the case over the abduction and murder of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda was ordered to be remanded till July 11 by the Colombo Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar yesterday.

When the case was taken up before the Colombo Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar Bench comprising Colombo High Court Judges Sanjeewa Morayas, Mahen Weeraman and Damith Thotawatta, witness Sumathipala Suresh Kumar testified before the Court and his testimony was concluded by the prosecution. He was produced before the Court by the Prison Authorities.

Following the conclusion of his testimony, Senior Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Pieris appearing on behalf of the Attorney General informed the Court that as the prosecution they were highly opposed to release witness Sumathipala who was detained under remand custody, until conclusion of the trial.

He further submitted that, if the witness was released by the Court, he may disappear or be influenced by outsiders. Therefore, considering the circumstances he sought from the Court to remand the witness until the conclusion of the trial.

He further said that the prosecution intends to file a new indictment against the witness under the charges of Contempt of Court and fabricating false evidence before the Court.

SDSG Pieris said that the testimony of the witness Sumathipala is totally contradictory to the statements which were given before the Homagama Magistrate’s Court and the CID. He also highlighted that there may be some outsiders who were influencing the witness to fabricate false evidence.

It was revealed before Court while giving evidence that the witness Suresh had obtained 12 SIM cards from two leading mobile connection service providers and denying the allegations he said that he only used 4 SIMS out of the 12 SIM cards which obtained with his National Identity Card and stating that he was not aware about the other 8 SIM cards.

He further said that main prosecution witnesses in the case testified and following their testimonies there is a question of the maintainability of the case further due to the contradictory evidence given by the main two witnesses. However, there are some circumstantial evidence and other evidence in connection with the case and prosecution still not in a position to decide maintainability of the case further, he said.

Therefore, he sought sufficient time from the Court to consider the position of the prosecution about the maintainability of the case further.

He further added that the provision of such contradictory evidence would be prejudicial to the judiciary and the legal system and that such ridicule of the judiciary should be strongly condemned.

He therefore pointed out that such incidents should not happen again and that strict action should be taken against those who give such contradictory evidence.

He said the incident that led to the case was about 12 years ago and so far and has failed to do any justice to the aggrieved party.

He also highlighted that he is getting frustrated with his job for not being able to do justice and Contempt for the judiciary due to such activities.

Considering the circumstances, the Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar ordered to remand the suspect until July 11 and prosecution was ordered to take immediate action against the witness during a short period of time.

The Attorney General had filed indictments, comprising 17 charges under Section 450(4) of Criminal Procedure Act No 15 of 1979 as amended by Act No 21 of 1988 in the High Court against nine Army Intelligence Officers attached to the Giritale Army camp in connection with the abduction and murder of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda.

The Attorney General had named Lt. Col. Shammi Arjun Kumararatne, R.M.P.K. Rajapaksa alias Nadan, W. W. Priyantha Dilanjan Upasena alias Suresh, S.M. Ravindra Rupasena alias Ranji, Y.M Chaminda Kumara Abeyratne, S. M. Kanishka Gunaratne, Aiyyasami Balasubramaniyam, D.G.T Prasad Gamage and T.E.R. Pieris was accused in the case for abduction charges.



by dailynews sri lanka

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