SLN personnel produced in disappearance case

[TamilNet, Thursday, 07 March 2002, 20:59 GMT]
Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officials in Colombo Thursday produced three Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) personnel before the Trincomalee Additional Magistrate Mr.T.L.A Manaf for an identification parade, in connection with the alleged disappearance of a young Tamil fisherman, Vairamuthu Jeyakili of Salli in Trincomalee. Jeyakili and two others were arrested by SLN personnel near Pigeon Island, close to Nilaveli sea, on 5 March 2000 while they were fishing.

The CID took this step following the instruction of the Attorney General. The three SLN personnel were produced in the court for an identification parade along with 27 other SLN personnel, all in uniform.

One of the three fishermen, Mohanraj, who was arrested and later released by the SLN personnel, appeared in court Thursday to identify the suspects SLN personnel. None of them were however identified by him.

The third person, Pathmaseelan, who was also released, was not present in court as he is said to have gone abroad soon after the incident.

The Additional Magistrate Mr.Manaf later ordered the three SLN personnel to appear in court when called. Senior State Counsel Sisinthra Fernando with CID sub inspector D.A Perera appeared for the prosecution. Attorney-at-Law Mr. W.Piyasiri appeared for the accused Navy personnel.

No attorney-at-law appeared in court to watch the interests of the affected parties.

The wife of Jeyakili, Pushparatha who has filed a Habeas Corpus case in the Eastern High Court in Trincomalee seeking the court to order the production of her husband Jeyakili was not present in court Thursday. Sources said the CID did not inform the latest development in this incident to the affected parties in advance.

Meanwhile, the hearing in the Habeas Corpus application filed by Ms Pushparatha is pending in the Eastern High Court in Trincomalee. In this HC application the petitioner has cited six respondents including the Naval Officer in Charge of Nilaveli navy detachment, Trincomalee Headquarters Inspector of Police, Inspector General of police, Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Secretary of the Ministry of Defense and the Attorney General.

The petitioner Pushparatha in her HC application states that on the day of incident her husband Jeyakili along with Pathmaseelan and Mohanraj had gone for fishing near Pigeon Island close to Nilaveli Sea. They were arrested by some SLN personnel stationed at Nilaveli naval detachment. Later Mohanraj and Pathmaseelan were released through the Trincomalee Police But her husband was not released. On inquiry she was told by Naval authorities that they did not arrest any person in the name of Jeyakili. She immediately reported this matter to the International Committee of Red Cross.

The petitioner furnished affidavits from Pathmaseelan and Mohanraj with her HC application stating that they were arrested by some SLN personnel on the day of incident along with Vyramuthu Jeyakili. Later they were handed over to the Police by the SLN and not Jeyakili.

The Court of Appeal last month sent back the HC case for inquiry before the Eastern High Court refusing the transfer application to a High Court in Colombo from Trincomalee made by the first respondent, Naval Officer in Charge of Nilaveli Navy detachment.

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