Trial-at-Bar inquiry into Udathalawinne massacre begins

[TamilNet, Monday, 20 January 2003, 15:42 GMT]
The Trial-at-Bar inquiry into the Udathalawinne massacre case commenced Monday before a three-member bench of High Court. In this case former Deputy Defence Minister General Anurudhha Ratwatte and his two sons, Rohan and Chanuka, and twelve Sri Lanka Army soldiers have been indicted on several counts, including conspiracy to murder and murder of ten Muslim youths on the general election day on December 5 last year at Udathalawinne in Kandy district.

When the inquiry commenced Monday defence lawyers raised preliminary objections that this court has no jurisdiction to hear this case. They submitted that alleged offence had been committed in Kandy district.

The defence further argued the Teldeniya Magistrate had transferred the case to High Court without holding preliminary inquiry and it was against the law of the country.

The Solicitor General Mr. Palitha Fernando replied that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has appointed the Trail-at-Bar. Hence the Trial-at-Bar inquiry cannot be challenged in any court of law. There is no need for a preliminary inquiry into this case at the Magistrate Court level as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has appointed the trial-at-bar comprising three High Court Judges.

The three-member bench comprising Judges Mr. Eric Basanayake (chairman), Judge Mr.Deepal Wijesundera and Judge Mr.Sunil Rajapakse out its ruling on the preliminary objections submitted by the defence for Tuesday.

 

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