Udathalawinne massacre accused remanded

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 21 January 2003, 12:16 GMT]
The three-member bench of the High Court Tuesday rejected the preliminary objections raised by the defence in the Udathalawinne massacre case. The High Court further ordered all the accused including former Deputy Defence Minister General Anurudha Ratwatte and his two sons Lohan and Chanuka be remanded till tomorrow (Wednesday), legal sources inColombo said.

The chairman of bench Judges Mr. Eric Basanayake said he would deliver the reasons for the rejection of preliminisary objection on Wednesday.

When the trial-at-bar inquiry commenced Monday the defence raised preliminary objections that the court has no jurisdiction to hear the case, as the alleged offence had been committed in the Kandy district.

Furthermore the defence argued that the Teledeniya Magistrate had transferred this case to the High Court without holding preliminary inquiry into the case.

The Solicitor General Mr. Palitha Fernando replied that the Chief Justice has appointed the three high court judges to conduct trial-at-bar inquiry into the Udathalawinne massacre and hence it could not be challenged in any court of law.

The three-member bench comprising Judges Eric Basanayake, Deepal Wijesundera and Sunil Rajapakse put off its order Tuesday. When the case was taken up on Tuesday the court delivered its order rejecting the defence preliminary objections.

All fifteen accused have been indicted on several charges including the conspiracy to murder and committing the murder of ten Muslim youths at Udathalawinne in Kandy district on December 5 last year.

 

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