HC discharges accused in PTA cases
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 17 July 2002, 21:23 GMT]
The Eastern High Court Wednesday discharged the accused in two cases filed under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and the Emergency Regulations (ER) when the prosecution brought to the notice that the key police witness who had recorded the confession of the accused was not present in the court for the seventh time.
The defence counsel K.Sivapalan in his submission to court said that the Assistant Superintendent of Police Jayantha Wickremasinghe who recorded the confession has gone to East Timor on special duty for a period of two years.
The defence counsel further made an application to court to discharge the accused stating that the only evidence against the accused in the two cases were their confessions which had been recorded by the ASP Jayantha Wickremasinghe
The State Counsel Mr.S.Kannan supported the application made by the defence. Hence the Easter High Court Judge Mr.J.Visvanathan made order discharging the accused in two cases.
In one case K.Thangaraja of Chelvanayakapuram was indicted for aiding and abetting the LTTE in the attack on the Trincomalee harbour in October 2000. In the second case, S.Suthanthiran was indicted under the PTA and ER for obtaining arms training from the LTTE during 1990s. In both cases the accused pleaded not guilty.
In another case the Eastern High Court Judge Mr.J.Visvanathan discharged the accused indicted under the PTA when the defence brought to the notice that the police officer Inspector Ubaithullah who translated the confession of the accused from Tamil to Sinhalese had died. In this case the Attorney General had indicted Poopalapillai Yogarajah of Alankerni for obtaining arms training from the LTTE between 1996 and 1997
The defence counsel K.Thiruchenthilnathan made an application to court to discharge the accused as the prosecution solely depended on the confession of the accused to prove guilt and the dead police officer was an important witness in this case. The State Counsel Mr.S.Kannan supported the defence application.