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Narcotics IP and Prisons Commissioner further remanded

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Wednesday, 11 April 2018 00:00

By T. Farook Thajudeen

Colombo Additional Magistrate Ranga Rangajeewa further remanded Inspect of Police (IP) Neomal Rangajeewa and Prisons Commissioner Lamahewage until 24 April over their alleged involvement in the Welikada Prison massacre. 

When the matter came up for inquiry, President Counsel Shavendra Fernando and Counsel Asitha Siriwardena, appearing for the suspects, said that the suspects could not be remanded for the alleged charges only considering the evidence of a witness to the case and based on the report filed in court by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID).

They also said that the suspects were remanded based upon statements made by some prisoners who were in remand for various crimes committed by them.

They further asserted that IP Neomal Rangajeewa was a very efficient officer who had made many successful raids. They asked the Magistrate to consider granting bail to the suspects by evaluating the facts before the court with a judicial mind. Hence they moved to grant bail to the suspects.

Counsel Manjula Pathiraja and Senaka Perera, appearing with Thisara Chamara for the aggrieved parties, submitted that already two suspects in the case, jailor Indika Sampath and former Prisons Commissioner P.W. Kodipplili, had migrated to an unknown destination. They asserted that the massacre of the prison inmates took place on 9 and 10 November 2012 but no proper action or investigation was held at that time due to the interference of the former administration. However, they said some developments had been observed in the investigation after the present Government came to power.

The Counsel complained to the Magistrate that some armed goons had threatened the wife of eyewitness Bandula Liyanarachchi at their residence recently over which a complaint was made with the Kiribathgoda Police and to the CID but there was no action taken by the Police or the CID. They asked the Magistrate to bring justice to the families of the victims.

The CID said the investigations were in progress and there was no provision in the law to grant bail to the suspects at this stage of investigations and to further remand the suspects. They said they would seek the Attorney General’s appearance for the case on the next date. 

The Magistrate, while remanding the suspects, ordered the CID to investigate the complaint made by the witness’s wife to the CID.

The CID arrested IP Neomal Rangajeewa of the Narcotics Bureau and Commissioner of Prisons (Rehabilitation) Emil Ranjan Lamahewage over their involvement in the deadly shooting at the Welikada Prison in 2012 which resulted in the massacre of 27 inmates and injury to a prison officer and 20 inmates.

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