Court releases 3 Jaffna traders detained under ER

[TamilNet, Saturday, 26 May 2007, 11:55 GMT]
Three Tamil traders arrested by Wellawatte Police in a lodge in Colombo on 27 January 27 this year with a consignment of wristwatch batteries were released by the Mt.Lavinia Magistrate Friday after four months in detention under the Emergency Regulations on a report from the Attorney General that they did not commit any offence.

Three traders, Nithiyanandam Mayuran, 32, Gopalan Senthooran, 28, and Gopalan Gangatharan, 24, owners of business establishments in Thirunelveli in Jaffna came to Colombo by air to buy goods in short supply in Jaffna.

The traders said they bought a consignment of batteries needed for wristwatches and kept in the lodge as they were scheduled to leave to Jaffna by air next day.

The same day night a police party had entered the lodge and arrested them, stating that they were members of LTTE.

They were produced in Mt.Lavinia Magistrate court after one month in detention in the Wellawatte police station under the Emergency Regulations.

The Magistrate ordered remand for these suspects till the inquiry was completed as police objected bail.

Meanwhile, counsel for the suspects appealed to the Attorney General that transporting wristwatch batteries was not prohibited under any law in Sri Lanka.

The suspects were produced in Mt Lavinina courts Friday and were released on the AG's instruction.

Senior Counsel Mr. Appathurai Vinayagamoorthy with Attorney-at-Law Thanabalasingham Janakan appeared for the suspects, legal sources said.


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