Udathalawinne case concludes, Court's decision in January

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 23 November 2005, 18:06 GMT]
The High Court Trial-at-Bar inquiry into the Udathalawinne massacre case in which General Anurudha Ratwatte, former Deputy Defense Minister, his two sons, Rohan and Chanuka, and thirteen Sri Lanka Army soldiers have been indicted on seventy two counts, including election violence, grabbing ballot papers and ballot boxes, conspiracy to murder and committing the murder of ten Muslim youths on the general election day on December 5, 2001 at Udathalawinne in Kandy district concluded Monday. Three-member bench of the Colombo High Court reserved its order for 20th January 2006, legal sources said.

At the start eighteen accused were indicted on October 15, 2002. The Trial at-Bar inquiry in the High Court commenced on January 20,2003. 106 of 281 witnesses listed by the prosecution gave evidence. During the trial, two accused Nimal Dhammika Siriwardene and Mahinda Wijesinghe were discharged for want of evidence. Mr.Lionel Balagalle, former army commander, several brigadiers and colonels of the SLA gave evidence on behalf of the prosecution. The evidence has been recorded over fifteen thousand pages. Counsels for the prosecution and defense delivered their addresses for about 26 days. 29 witnesses of 129 listed by the defense gave evidence, legal sources said.

The trial was heard before High Court Judges Mr. Eric Basanayake (President), Mr.Deepali Wijesundera and Mr.Sunil Rajapakse. After Mr.Basanayake was promoted as a Judge of the Court of Appeal, the other two judges till the conclusion heard the case, legal sources said.

Mr.Palitha Fernando, Deputy Solicitor General, Senior State Counsels Mr.Achchala Wengapuli, Mr.Mohan Seneviratne, State Counsels Mr.Shanil Kularatne and Mr.Yohan Liyanage appeared for the prosecution. Counsels Mr.Wijesdasa Rajapakse, Mr.Anil Silva, Mr.A.W.Yoosuf and Mr.Sugath Karawita appeared for the defense, legal sources said.

 

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