Former Sri Lankan minister to stand trial for 1987 murder in Chennai

CHENNAI: Former Sri Lankan minister Douglas Devananda is all set to stand trial before a Chennai court through video conferencing from Colombo in 28-year-old murder case.

It was in the preceding night of Diwali in 1987 that Douglas and nine other Sri Lankan Tamils were involved in a shootout at Choolaimedu in Chennai. One person was killed in the incident. Though all were arrested, they absconded after being released on bail.

Non-bailable arrest warrant was issued against Douglas who later became a minister in Rajapaksa government.

At the end of civil war in 2009, he was part of a diplomatic delegation visiting India and calling on the President and Prime Minister.

At that time it was TOI which exposed the fact that he was supposed to be an absconding accused with an NBW pending against him. But due to his diplomatic immunity, he was not arrested during the visit.

He didn’t return to India after that. However, he moved courts for cancellation of the NBW. On September 10, 2014 Justice C T Selvam of Madras high court permitted him to stand trial through video conferencing.

On Tuesday, the additional public prosecutor filed a petition before IV additional sessions judge M Shanthi seeking to split the case and conduct trial against Douglas who has been cited as third accused in the case.

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