Ratwatte’s final attempt at bail turned down

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 23 April 2003, 18:12 GMT]
The trial-at-bar comprising three High Court Judges Wednesday rejected a motion by the fifteen accused in the Udathalawinne massacre case, including the former Deputy Defence Minister General Anurudha Ratwatte and his two sons, seeking permission to file a bail application at the Supreme Court against a previous order refusing bail, legal sources said.

The case against General Ratwatte, his sons Lohan and Chanuka, and other twelve soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army is now being heard by the trial-at-bar. The Attorney General has indicted the accused on several counts, including conspiracy to murder and committing the murder of ten Muslims on December 5 in 2001, the last general election day, sources said.

During the course of trial the accused General Ratwatte filed bail application seeking bail on the grounds of his ill health. However, the trial-at-bar rejected it. As a last resort, on behalf of the fifteen accused, a motion was filed at the trial-at-bar, seeking its permission to file a bail application at the Supreme Court, the highest court in the country, sources said.

The Chairman of the trial-at-bar, Judge Mr. Eric Basanayake, Wednesday agreed with other judges and rejected the motion, saying that the court could not entertain it as it is against the law. The court told the accused to not seek any relief that it could not provide under the existing law. The court further said its interim order could not be challenged as it is hearing the particular case, legal sources said.

 

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