Torture victim's case dismissed
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 15 June 1999, 10:30 GMT]
A thirty-year old woman, Samithamby Thangaratnam, mother of two, has been discharged by the Batticaloa High Court Judge, after two years in remand. She has a history of loss of memory as a result of severe torture.
The woman was produced in High Court in a case filed under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
She was charged with providing food and other essential articles to the LTTE between January 1,1995 and December 12, 1995.
At the end of her trial, on an application made by the defence counsel, the High Court Judge A.N.Ramachandran ordered the Batticaloa Judicial Medical Officer to submit a report about her health condition.
When the case was taken up for hearing last week, the Judicial Medical Officer Dr.S.Chandrapalan submitted his report to court.
Dr.Chandrapalan in said that the accused woman had been subjected to severe torture and also she had lost her memory.
Several scars of healed wounds were found on her body, he said.
The accused had been badly affected psychologically and physically and needed continuous treatment he said.
A copy of the medical report was already sent to the Attorney General.
The State Counsel moved that he was withdrawing the case against the woman, on the instruction of the Attorney General.
Thereafter the High Court Judge discharged the accused.
Thangaratnam was arrested on July 27, 1997 by two soldiers from the Valaichchenai Army camp, at the Oddamawadi bus halt when she was waiting for a bus to go to Colombo, said court sources.
She was then blindfolded and taken to the army camp in a jeep where she was subjected to severe torture. She was kept in the Army camp for seven days, they said.
Thereafter she was handed over to the Batticaloa police who detained her for one and a half months. She was then handed over to the Batticaloa prisons on October 21, 1997 where she was held till she was discharged by the High Court, they said.
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