Ambepitya murder accused sentenced to death

[TamilNet, Monday, 04 July 2005, 16:19 GMT]
All the five accused in the High Court Judge Sarath Ambepitiya murder were sentenced to death Monday by the three-member bench High Court comprising Judges Mr.Upali Abeyaratne (President), W.A.T.Ratnayake and I.M.Abeyaratne. The Chief Justice had constituted trial-at-bar to hear this high profile murder case, legal sources said.

Mr.Niyaz Naufer alias Potta Naufer, an Air Force deserter Nishantha Udayakumara, a manager of a co-operative store Sampath Thushara Abeyawickreme, a welder Sujith Rohan Rupesinghe and an owner of a catering service Sumeda Niroshana were earlier indicted with the conspiracy and the main accused Niyaz Naufer with abetment to commit the two killings of Judge Ambepitya and his MSD Security Inspector Mr.R.A.Upali Ranasinghe.

The four other accused had been charged with committing the killings, legal sources said.

The murders took place on November 19 last year at the Judge's official residence on his return from the High Court. The High Court Trial-at-Bar inquiry commenced on March 15 2005.

Of the 73 prosecution witnesses listed, 41 gave evidence in twenty-one days, legal sources said.

The High Court Monday evening around 4.30 p.m. delivered the order stating that all the charges against the five accused had been proved beyond doubt. Hence they imposed death sentence on all the accused, legal sources said.

Solicitor General C.R.De Silva, President Counsel with Senior State Counsel Mr.Sarath Jayamanne, State Counsel Mr.Haripriya Jayasundara, Mr. Shanil Kularetna and Mr.Uthpalangani Rajapakse appeared for the prosecution.

President Counsel Mr.Tirantha Waliliyadda instructed by Mr.Lakshman Perera appeared for the main accused Niyaz Naufer and Counsel Mr.Sudath Karawita and Mr.Nalin Indatissa appeared for the other accused, legal sources said.


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