Ratwatte's bail petition denied

[TamilNet, Thursday, 23 January 2003, 19:14 GMT]
The three-member bench of the High Court hearing the Udathalawinne massacre case Thursday rejected the bail application made by the defence and ordered that former Deputy defence Minister General Anurudha Ratwatte should be remanded till the trial is over.

All the fourteen accused in the case, including General Ratwatte, his two sons Lohan and Chanuka, were earlier allowed bail till the trial-at-bar began inquiry last Monday before a three-member bench comprising High Court Judges Eric Basanayake, Deepal Wijesundera and Sunil Rajapakse.

The High Court ordered remand for all the fourteen accused at the end of submissions by the defence Monday raising preliminary objection questioning the validity of the Colombo High Court to hear this case.

The defence argued that the high court has no jurisdiction to hear the case, as the alleged offence had been committed in the Kandy district. Furthermore, the defence argued that the case had been transferred to Colombo without holding a preliminary inquiry in lower court in Teldeniya.

On Tuesday, the High Court overruled the preliminary objection of the defence, stating that the court has jurisdiction to hear this case, as the Chief Justice has constituted the trial-at-bar. The court again ordered that all the fourteen accused should be remanded till the trial is concluded.

On Wednesday, the Court said it would deliver the order on the defence application which sought the release of General Anurudha Ratwatte, as he is ill.

The High Court Thursday rejected the bail application and again ordered all the fourteen accused, including General Ratwatte, should be in remand till the trial is over, legal sources said.

The trial in this case is now proceeding.

In this case all the fourteen accused have been indicted on several counts including conspiracy to murder and murder of ten Muslim youths at Udathalawinne in the Kandy district on 5 December 2001.


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