ASP in Tissa's case didn't think confession was important

[TamilNet, Saturday, 20 September 2008, 12:47 GMT]
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Mr Srilal Anandaraj Ranasinghe, during cross examination in Tissainayagam case 18th Thursday in Colombo High Court, said that he did not think "[Tissainayagam's] confession was not very important," legal sources following the case in Colombo said. While the main duty of the ASP Ranasinghe was to record confessions, and after admitting to having taken fifteen such confessions, the ASP said since he had not given evidence to the Court before, he did not understand the importance of statements of confession.

The Court observed several discrepancies with ASP's submission during the cross examination of Mr Ranasinghe, according to legal sources.

Defense Counsel Anil Silva pointed out to the ASP that Tissainayagam's complexion was recorded as "tan" on 7th May, and "dark" on 7th May, and asked the ASP if this was due the ASP not being present during both occasions, and if the records were typed in his absence by two different typists. d read out the laws to Tissainayagam.

Counsel Silva then asked him that since he sent Tissainayagam back to police custody "to think about his confession" and Tissainayagam had already by this time taken a fundamental rights case that he was tortured in police custody, if it was not the duty of the ASP to do more than read out the laws but to find out if actually there was any pressure put on the detainee to make a confession, since he was going back into police custody. ASP Ranasinghe said he did not know that Tissainayagam had taken a fundamental rights case against the TID. When questioned if the ASP did not know if certain officers in the TID had cases against them pending for torture. ASP Ranasinghe said yes he knew this and that is why he asked that Tissainayagam be taken to the Judicial Medical Officer.

The ASP also said that he gave different detainees, different time frames to think about making their confessions. Tissainayagam was given two days but some other detainees have been given a week or a week and a half. When asked why the discrepancy the ASP said it was according to the work that the ASP had. When asked if any detainee that the ASP had asked to think about making a confession and had then returned on a different date and the detainee had said that he did not want to confess, ASP Ranasinghe replied that all of the detainees who were asked to "think about" making a confession always returned saying they wanted to make a confession.


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