SC quashes death sentence, Tamil youth released after 15 years
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 23 February 2005, 16:57 GMT]
Mr.Shanmugam Ragupathi, a Tamil youth of Jaffna was released Monday after fifteen years in Welikada jail when the Supreme Court quashed the death sentence imposed on him by the Colombo High Court in a case in which he was indicted by the Attorney General for causing deaths of several soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in an attack on the Karainagar army base in the year 1990, legal sources said.
The Attorney General under the Prevention of Terrorism Act indicted the accused
(PTA) in the Colombo High Court in year 2002, legal sources said.
After trial the Colombo High Court imposed death sentence on the accused, accepting his confession as a voluntary one despite defence position that the confession was made under duress while in police custody, legal sources said.
The accused filed an appeal against the death sentence stating that the High Court had erred in accepting his confession as a voluntary one. He also said in his appeal that the prosecution had failed to establish the fact that there was an army camp in Karainagar during the period of committing the alleged crime, legal sources said.
The prosecution also failed to prove with authoritative documents that about five hundred soldiers were killed in the Karainagar attack, said the Supreme Court in its order quashing the death sentence, legal sources said.