HC to decide Duminda’s counsel on 4 May

Saturday, 28 April 2012 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By T. Farook Thajudeen

The Colombo High Court yesterday said it would decide on 4 May whether the Counsel for suspect Duminda Silva could appear for him in the magisterial inquiry into the killing of former Parliamentarian and senior presidential advisor Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and three others.

High Court Judge Sunil Rajapaksa made this decision after considering submissions of Counsel Hemantha Warnakulasuriya and Senior State Counsel Riyaz Bary.

Counsel Warnakulasuirya appearing on behalf of petitioner Vincent Premalal de Silva submitted that Duminda Silva was the second son of the petitioner and was not in a position to personally give his consent to the counsel to appear in the inquiry as he was undergoing treatment in a foreign country.

The counsel contended that during the inquiry before the Magistrate’s Court on 15 November, 2011 the Magistrate had ordered to arrest Silva on wrong assumption. The petitioner contended that the prosecution had not requested the court to name Silva a suspect to the case and without any medical reports being submitted before court the magistrate named Silva as a suspect and ruled that the counsel could appear for him only on written consent.

Consequently the counsel’s appearance for Silva was rejected by court presuming that the suspect had not given consent by way of a written proxy. The counsel said that this action was erroneous.    

The counsel pleaded the High Court to revise the Magistrate’s order to enable him to appear for Silva in the Magistrate’s Court case.

Senior State Counsel Riyaz Bary making submissions on behalf of the Attorney General said there was provision in law for a counsel to defend a suspect in an inquiry before the Magistrate without written consent and it was a right of a suspect to do so.     

President’s Counsel Hemantha Warnakulasuriya with Jayampathy Christy and Shamal Collure instructed by Indrajith Amaratunge appeared for the petitioner.