Attorney General co ordinates Chemmani investigation

[TamilNet, Friday, 26 February 1999, 11:00 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Attorney General's office said today that it expected the Jaffna magistrate to fix a date for the exhumation of the alleged mass graves of Tamil civilians at Chemmani.

The AG said that an examination and survey of the scene of the alleged grave has been arranged by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Police and that the state will invite the Jaffna magistrate to visit Chemmani along with the CID and the forensic experts it will take to Jaffna for the purpose.

Legal sources in Jaffna expressed dismay that the AG department had acted pre-emptively by expressing its opinion as to what the magistrate should do on March 5.

They pointed out that the Jaffna magistrate has to first instruct the CID to produce the ex-Lance Corporal of the SLA who has alleged that there is mass grave at Chemmani in the Jaffna courts and that he (the Lance Corporal) has to identify the spot before the foresnic and soil experts can begin their examinations.

Meanwhile, Jaffna magistrate S.A.E Ekanathan declined to comment on this development today saying that "sittings have been suspended".

The AG department's statement this afternoon says, "A team of Criminal investigators attached to the CID headed by the director of the CID Senior Superintendent Police (SSP) Keerthi Gajanayaka and several eminent forensic experts are due to visit Chemmany in the Jaffna peninsula on 5th of March with a view to commencing investigations into the alleged mass grave in Chemmani.

The CID has engaged the services of a team of forensic anthropologists and forensic pathologists headed by Prof.Neeriellage Chandrasiri, Prof.of Forensic medicine of the University of Ruhuna who has both local and international experience in the field of forensic exhumation and the identification of human skeletal remains to conduct the forensic examinations and the scene of the alleged mass graves.

Several other local and foreign forensic scientists are to join in later.

Additional government analyst Mr.M.A.J Mendis and Dr.K.A Nandasena (senior lecturer in Geology of the Univ.of Perdeniya) are also due to take part in the investigations. State council Yasantha Kodagoda is to appear for the state in the connected court case, in the magistrate's court of Jaffna on the 5th of March.

The AG's department is co-ordinating the investigation.

On the fifth of March an examination and a survey of the scene in Chemmani has been arranged. Based on the opinion of the experts, it is expected that the magistrate will fix a date for the initial exhumations.

The CID intends to conduct all exhumations under magisterial supervision.

The state is due to invite the magistrate of Jaffna to visit the alleged scene of the mass graves along with the investigators on the fifth of the March."


Related Articles:
18.02.99   Foreign ministry withdraws Chemmani statement
11.02.99   Chemmani graves to be exhumed

 

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