Case against torture victim withdrawn

[TamilNet, Thursday, 18 November 1999, 11:36 GMT]
The Eastern High Court on Wednesday acquitted an accused in a case in which he was charged under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) when the State Counsel withdrew the indictments.

In this case, twenty three year-old Sebastian Goodfellow of Sinnaurani, Batticaloa, was indicted on two counts. The first was a charge of obtaining arms training from the LTTE at Ailavedduwan between 1 January 95 and 31 January 95. The second count was failing to give information about the movements of the LTTE in his area, to the authorities concerned.

The accused was arrested by the Sri Lanka Army on 12 September .97.

When this case came up for inquiry before the Eastern High Court on an earlier date, the defence counsel, Mr. Perinpam Premnath submitted that the state was solely depending on the confession obtained from the accused to prove this case.

He argued that the confession had been obtained under duress, and the accused had been tortured severely.

The High Court Judge A. N. Ramachandran then directed the District Medical Officer, Batticaloa, Dr. S. Chandrapalan to submit a report after examining the accused.

Dr. Chandrapalan in his medical report to court on Wednesday (17 November)

stated that the accused had undergone severe torture while in custody of the

police.

The healed wounds on the body of the accused had been caused by some sharp pointed weapons, burning cigarettes and being dragged on the road. The eye sight of the accused had been affected as a polythene bag contained petrol mixed with chilli powder had been placed on his face for several hours while

in detention.

Dr. Chandrapalan further stated in his report that the accused had been affected physically and psychologically when he was in the custody of the security forces.

Thereafter the State Counsel Mr. Sasi Mahendran informed court that he was withdrawing the case against the accused as directed by the Attorney General.

The High Court Judge then acquitted the accused.

 

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