Maheswaran murder accused refused bail
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 16 December 2008, 17:07 GMT]
Colombo High Court Judge, Sunil Rajapakse, Monday refused bail for the accused in parliamentarian T.Maheswaran murder case, and fixed the inquiry for April 27th next year, legal sources in Colombo said. The accused Johnston Collin Valentine was produced in court under heavy security. Maheswaran was shot dead on January
1 morning this year while he was attending New Year prayer poojah in Colombo Ponnambalavaaneswarar Temple.
Eye witnesses to the murder, Nithiyanandan, Police Sergeant Dharmasiri, body guard of slain parliamentarian, Panchadchara Iyer Kuruvayooran, priest of the Colombo Ponnambalavaaneswarar Temple and Sellathurai Paramsothinathan who admitted the injured Maheswaran to the hospital were present in court when the case was taken for inquiry.
Attorney ľat-Law K.Jeyakumar, counsel for the accused submitted an application seeking the release of the suspect on bail. State Counsel Janaka Bandara objected to the application on the ground that the accused would go into hiding if he is released on bail. The State Counsel requested the court to reject the bail application.
The High Court Judge after listening to the arguments of the defence and prosecution refused the bail application stating that the murder of a parliamentarian was a serious crime, and he accepts prosecution's concern of the accused absconding.
The accused preferred that he be tried before a panel of Tamil speaking Jury when the court asked him whether he was a trial by Jury or not. The Judge further directed that the inquiry would be conducted from April 27 daily.
Prison officials thereafter took the accused to remand under heavy security.