PTA detainee tortured - JMO

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 05 October 1999, 12:08 GMT]
Kalithas Selvam, 49, who was detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) had been tortured in the police custody said the Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) while testifying at the Batticaloa High Courts yesterday.

Kalithas of Eravur was arrested by the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) on 5 March 1998. He was later handed over to the Counter Subversive Unit (CSU) of the Sri Lankan Police.

The Police has charged him with collecting funds for the Liberation Tigers, providing food to them, and for not informing the SLA about the movements of the Liberation Tigers. The case was taken up for hearing yesterday at the Batticaloa High Courts.

Mr. Premnath, the lawyer who appeared on behalf of the accused said that the police had filed charges against his client on the basis of a confession obtained under duress.

He said that his client had been asked to sign confession written in Sinhala. The lawyer argued that the JMO's report provides substantial evidence for his claim of torture.

The JMO, in his report submitted at the courts, said Kalithas had been severally beaten, with injuries all over the body. He further stated that a nail had been removed and that there were burn marks caused by cigarette being put out all over his body. According to the JMO, Kalithas had teeth removed from upper jaw and cannot function normally in future due to injuries he had sustained under the torture

The lawyer urged the courts to release his client on bail as he had been detained for more than a year and was in need of medical care.

Sasi Mahenthiran, the lawyer who appeared on the interest of the police objected.

The judge, however, on the basis of the medical report accepted the bail application and released Kalithas on Rs.25,000 surety.

The judge adjourned the matter to November 19 and ordered the accused to reappear in the courts on that date.


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