Court frees PTA detainee
[TamilNet, Sunday, 01 October 2000, 14:26 GMT]
The Vavuniya High Court Friday acquitted Ramachandran Yogarasa,24, indicted under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), stating that the defence had proved that the confession from the accused had been obtained under duress.
The Attorney General had indicted Ramachandran Yogarasa of Gnanasooriyam Square, Batticaloa under the PTA on two counts;
Count1: Underwent arms training under the LTTE on or before 10.11,1993.
Count2: Caused deaths to the Sri Lanka Army personnel by participating in the attack on Pooneryn army camp.
Though the army had arrested Ramachandran Yogarasa in Batticaloa on 11.01.1997, the Attorney General had filed indictment against him in the Vavuniya High Court. To prove the case, the prosecution had solely depended on the confession purported to have been made by the youth to the Police.
The prosecution cited the Senior Superintendent of Police, H.A.E.Gunatilake and police translators Albert and Pathirana as main witnesses.
When the case was taken up for inquiry, the defence counsel Perinpam Premnath brought to the notice of the court that the accused was severely assaulted and tortured severely by the Police and the Sri Lanka Army during interrogation.
The defense counsel led the evidence of the accused.
The accused said that he was severely tortured by the police and the army when he was under their custody. As a result he was bleeding through his penis and anus.
The accused showed the High Court Judge the healed wounds found on his body inflicted when was tortured and assaulted by the security personnel.
The accused further said that the police forced him to sign a document prepared in Sinhala language when he was agonizing in pain due to severe torture. He was threatened by the police that if he failed to sign the confession he would be subjected to more torture and assault. Hence he signed the document.
The defence counsel told court that the medical report submitted by the District Medical Officer Dr.Chandrapalan who examined the accused had stated that the accused had been subjected to severe torture and assault.
When the accused was under the custody of the security personnel, he was assaulted with an aluminium pot on his head and with iron rods all over his body.