This further confirms erosion of faith in courts : lawyer Sumenthiran
(Lanka-e-News -25.Dec.2016, 11.55PM) It is a well known fact that even though Raviraj was murdered during the Rajapakse regime , no investigations were duly conducted into it by the regime . However after the good governance government coming into power , following a lengthy investigation into the murder by the CID , 6 suspects including three members of the Navy were indicted and the trial was begun. As the prime suspect Fabian Roysten Christopher Toussaint was absconding courts the case was heard sans his presence.
The trial was conducted before a jury panel which was appointed at the request of the defense . But as all the members of the jury appointed were Sinhala speaking , the Tamil political parties and the Human Rights Commission even before the trial raised their objections to this.
This case was heard 23rd until after midnight and the verdict was delivered yesterday (24). This was something unprecedented in Sri Lanka ‘s history ! This morning the panel of jury declared that the members of the jury have unanimously decided to acquit all the accused thereby exonerating them of all charges.
During the trial it came to light based on the evidence of PC Liyanarachchige Abeyaratne of the Intelligence division that ex defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse paid a sum of Rs. 50 million to the Karuna group involved in the murder as kick back. Despite it Gotabaya was not even summoned as a witness.
Unbelievably , even after Preethi Viraj Manamperi a police driver of the presidential security division then, testified to having seen the suspect , the navy officer Gamini Seneviratne shooting, the panel of jury decided to acquit every one of the accused in the case.
Lawyer M. Sumenthiran M.P. who appeared on behalf of the aggrieved party said, the judgment is not a matter for shock since the public faith and confidence reposed in courts had already evaporated . It is because of such situations that assistance of international courts have become necessary and is being urged outside of the judges of the local courts , he asserted.
Sumenthiran also said , as the lawyer for the victim in this case he shall be filing an appeal against the decision. When it was inquired from Sumenthiran M.P. whether the decision cannot be accepted because it is the conviction that the case has been filed by the accused who are the alleged murderers of Raviraj ? He replied, though he may not say that , it is a matter for regret that it had not been possible to duly punish the culprits even after several years have elapsed since the time of the murder that was committed in broad daylight.
The criminals being allowed to be free for so long is itself is a grave wrong , and he is absolutely against it , Sumenthiran emphasized
(LeN court correspondent and Dinasena Rathugamage)
Translated by Jeff