PTA accused freed after four-year detention

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 03 April 2002, 12:25 GMT]
The Anuradhapura High Court Judge Wednesday discharged an accused indicted under the Prevention of Terrorism Act when the defence proved that the Police did not give enough time to the accused to make up his mind before making a confession. The accused who had been in prison for four years and six months since his arrest was later released.

In this case the Attorney General indicted Kanthappan Arasaretnam of Palugamam, Batticaloa for failing to provide information about a LTTE member, Yogarajah. The accused was also charged for assisting the LTTE member to commit offence detrimental to the country.

The prosecution told court that the accused was arrested in 1997 when he was working in a rice mill at Polonaruwa. The prosecution solely depended on the confession of the accused to prove his guilt. But the defence took up the possession that the Police officer who recorded the confession did not give enough time to the accused to make up his mind to come to decision whether to make the confession or not.

Hence Voire Dire inquiry was held to ascertain whether the confession of the accused was a voluntary one. At the inquiry the Superintendent of Police Mr. M.Ediriwickrema and the Police translator Mr. Wijeratne gave evidence. Both prosecution witnesses failed to prove that enough time was given to the accused to make up his mind before making his confession.

The Defence submitted to court that both witness had given contradictory evidence regarding the duration of time given to the accused before making a confession.State Counsel Mr. Sujitha de Silva then withdrew the indictment.

Attorney-at-Law Mr. Perinpam Premnath appeared for the defence.


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