Welikada Prison massacre trial to begin on 14 Oct.

Saturday, 31 August 2019 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar yesterday fixed the trial of the Welikada Prison massacre to be heard three days a week from 14 October.  

The case is to be heard on all Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The Trial-at-Bar, which is made up of Judges Gihan Kulathunga, Pradeep Hettiarachchi and Manjula Thilakarathna, also directed the issuance of summons to witnesses one to four of the prosecution, to be present on 14 October.

Earlier, the Trial-at-Bar allowed the evidence to be heard in absence of the suspect, Imaduwage Indika Sampath, who is absconding court.

The other accused of this case, Moses Nevamal Rangajeewa and Lamahewage Emil Ranjan were present in court.

During the inquiry, President’s Counsel Anuja Premaratne and Nalinda Indatissa raised the question that some of the documents, which include photographs and statements, that were collected during investigations were not presented to the defence to prepare for trial.

However, Deputy Solicitor General Dilan Ratnayake told the court that he can provide the necessary documents as they have been made available to him by the investigators. On 20 September the Court will consider the documents requested by the defence. 

In July the Trial-At-Bar judges released on bail former IP of Police Narcotic Bureau Neomal Rangajeewa and former Welikada Prison Superintendent Emil Ranjan Lamahewage on Rs. 100,000 cash with two sureties for Rs. 500,000. Their passports were impounded and they were restrained from foreign travel.

The Attorney General (AG) has filed indictments against the accused, who appeared before court on notice, and another prison officer Indika Sampath, who is absconding at present for his involvement in the Welikada Prison riots. 

The two accused, along with another former jailor of the Magazine Prison Indika Sampath are charged for the Magazine Prison massacre that took place in Magazine Prison on 9 and 10 November 2012, which claimed the lives of 27 prisoners.

It is alleged that some of the inmates were picked out from a list of names and gunned down.