Gen. Ratwatte indicted in massacre case

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 20 February 2002, 17:02 GMT]
The Attorney General Wednesday decided to indict the thirty-three suspects, including General Ratwatte in the Udathalawinne Murder case before a Trial at Bar inquiry. At a conference presided by the AG at his office Wednesday afternoon, it was decided to request the Chief Justice to nominate three High Court judges to the Trial at Bar inquiry, legal sources said. AG department sources said that this decision was taken to treat the Udathalawinne murder case as a special one.

One of the suspects General Anuruddha Ratwatte, now in remand has been charged with conspiring in the Udathalawinne murder, giving his approval to commit the murder and failing to produce the other suspects in the murder.

General Ratwatte was admitted to the Colombo National Hospital, around 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, medical sources said. Dr.Hector Weerasinghe, Director of the hospital, however, refused to give details of General Ratwatte's condition.

General Ratwatte was flown to Colombo Wednesday around noon by the same special SLAF helicopter, which took him to Teldeniya Wednesday morning. The Teldeniya Magistrate Ms Inoka Ranasinghe ordered the General Ratwatte be remanded at Welikada prison when defence counsel Mr.Anil Obeyasekara moved that the suspect should not be kept in Bogamapara prisons in Kandy to ensure his safety.

Meanwhile the Commandant of the Special Task Force (STF) Deputy Inspector General of Police Nimal Gunatilake said that General Ratwatte had been relieved of his STF protection since Tuesday evening. However he said he has not received any new instruction to provide security to General Ratwatte.

In the meantime, President Chandrika Kumaratunge has requested the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe to provide ministerial security to General Ratwatte, People's Alliance sources said.

The Sri Lanka freedom Party has lodged a strong protest with the United National Front government for the arrest of General Ratwatte.

The General Secretary of the SLFP Mr.Maitripala Sirisena said, "the whole country is indebted to General Ratwatte as he had done great service to the Sinhala community by recapturing the Jaffna peninsula from LTTE. "

 

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