Security to be tightened for Ratwatte trial

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 29 April 2003, 14:08 GMT]
The trial-at-bar inquiry into the Udathalawinne massacre case has been put off for May 5 for security reasons when the defence brought to the notice of the three-member bench of High Court Judges when the case resumed Tuesday that the life of one of the accused, former deputy defence minister General Ratwatte, is under threat, legal sources said.

When the issue was brought up the judges held closed-door discussions with the prosecution and the defence counsel including court officials regarding the security provided to the courthouse building, court sources said.

The Chairman of the three member bench of High Court Judges Mr. Eric Basanayake later ordered the Registrar to inform the Inspector General of Police to take immediate steps to strengthen the security provided to the courthouse inside and outside, sources further said.

The Judge Mr. Eric Basanayake announced in open court that he was postponing the inquiry for May 5 till the IGP furnishes a report about the security arrangements provided to the court house building, legal sources said.

In this case fifteen accused including the former deputy defence minister General Anurudha Ratwatte, his two sons Lohan and Chanuka and twelve army soldiers have been indicted by the Attorney General on several counts including conspiracy to murder of ten Muslim youths on December 2001, the last general election day.

The Deputy Solicitor General Palitha Fernando appeared for the prosecution and President Counsel R.I.Obeyasekara appeared for the defence, court sources said.

 

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