SLA asks court to transfer Chemmani case to Anuradhapura
[TamilNet, Saturday, 21 April 2007, 00:42 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Commander, Wednesday and Thursday filed two petitions in the Sri Lanka's Court of Appeal asking not to allow the inquiry into the Chemmani graveyard massacre and other related Habeas Corpus applications to be held in Jaffna Magistrate's Court and to transfer
those cases to Anuradhapura court for further hearing, legal sources in Jaffna said.
Petitions by Army Commander have been in response to the instruction by the Jaffna High Court to Jaffna magistrate court to resume the stalled inquiry into several Habeas Corpus applications in connection with the Chemmani graveyard massacre case, legal sources said.
Nineteen petitions on behalf of army personnel involved in the Chemmani graveyard massacre case have also been filed in the Court of Appeal. The accused military officers and troops have also begged that the cases involving them should be transferred to Anuradhapura courts for further hearing, sources said.
SLA Commander by his petitions has asked the Court of Appeal not to allow holding inquiries into Chemmani graveyard massacre case and related cases
in any court in the North East as it would endanger the lives of army personnel and State counsel appearing for them, legal sources said.
The SLA is well aware that witnesses and relatives of the Tamil victims will face hurdles and will be reluctant to attend Courts in Sinhala areas due to cost and threats of violence, legal sources in Jaffna said.
Earlier in February, in a historic ruling, Chavakacheri courts, said that there was sufficient evidence of direct involvement of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) officers in the disappearance of a number of youths in Thenmaradchchy area in 1996, and issued orders that further action be taken by Jaffna High Courts.