Mirusuvil massacre case inquiry resumes

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 28 March 2007, 11:09 GMT]
The Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar (TAB) inquiry into the Mirusuvil massacre case was fixed for June 25 when it was taken up before the specially constituted three member bench comprising Judges Mr.Upali Abeyaratne (Chairman), Mr.Deepali Wijesundara and Mr.Sunil Rajapakse last Monday, legal sources in Colombo said.

Attorney General has indicted five soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army, Sunil Ratnayake, Senaka Munasinghe, T.M.Jeyaratne, Pushpa Saman Kumara and Gamini Munasinghe on 19 charges in the murder of eight Tamil civilians, Gnanapalan Raviveeran, Sellamuthu Theivakulasingham, Vilvarajah Pratheepan, Sinniah Vilvarajah, Nadesu Jeyachchandran, Kathiran Gnanachchandran, Gnanachandran Shanthan and Vilvarajah Prasath in Mirusuvil on December 19, 2000.

According to the indictments, the accused had killed the five civilians when they were visiting their houses and lands in Mirusuvil after the military operation of the SLA.

Earlier the case was listed for hearing before a three-member bench of the High Court chaired by Judge Mr.Sarath Ambepitya.

The inquiry which was scheduled to begin on 22 Monday 2004 was put off indefinitely following the murder of Mr.Sarath Ambepitya, legal sources said.

Thereafter, the inquiry into this case was fixed for 25 July 2005 by the newly constituted three member-bench of the High Court presided by Judge Upali Abeyaratne.

But the inquiry came to a halt in September 2004 after the evidence of sole eyewitness who survived the massacre was recorded following an appeal by one of five accused soldiers in the Supreme Court.

The soldier his appeal stated that his confession was recorded by a military police officer and not by a police officer and it was inadmissible according to Section 23 of the Evidence Ordinance, legal sources said.

The five member bench of the Supreme Court comprised Chief Justice Sarath Silva and Justices P.Edussuriya, H.S.Yapa, Asoka de Silva and T.B.Weerasuriya which heard the appeal in its order directed the TAB that it could continue its proceedings with other available material evidence excluding the confession recorded by a military police officer, legal sources said.

However, there was no progress made to hold the inquiry thereafter. Finally the case was mentioned last Monday in the High Court, Colombo that has fixed the inquiry for June 25, legal sources said.

 

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