SLA troopers fail to appear for Court trials in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Thursday, 26 April 2007, 02:19 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) personnel, involved either as the accused or witness in cases of abductions, killings and other such criminal allegations, fail to appear for the scheduled trials in the courts in Jaffna peninsula, causing numerous indefinite postponements of the cases, legal society sources in Jaffna said. The SLA Commander will act in consultation with the Attorney General, in case Magistrates handling such cases resort to punitive measures, SLA legal sources said.

The SLA troopers are reluctant to appear for the trials in due to fear of their lives under the current volatile situation in Jaffna peninsula, lawyers representing them said.

The sensitive trials include those with homicides and suicides among SLA personnel, legal sources in Jaffna said.

The SLA Commander had earlier filed two petitions in the Sri Lanka's Court of Appeal requesting not to allow the inquiry into Chemmani graveyard massacre and other related Habeas Corpus applications to be held in Jaffa Magistrate's Court and to transfer those cases to Anuradapura court for further hearing.

If the request of the SLA Commander is acceded to, witnesses and relatives of the Tamil victims will not be able to travel under the prevalent restrictions, besides being apprehensive in attending Courts in Sinhala areas due to threats to their lives.

This situation will eventually lead to the indefinite postponements of the said cases, attorney-at-laws representing the Tamil victims, who uphold that the related trials should be conducted in Jaffna, said.

Meanwhile, a bomb exploded Wednesday in an abandoned plot of land located between Chavakacheri town and Chavakacheri Courts, after SLA personnel had appeared at Chavakacheri Courts and left.

The abandoned plot of land had been a motor repair garage earlier.

 

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