Written by Keshala Dias
24 Dec, 2016 | 11:34 am
The Colombo Magistrate has released five suspects, including three former intelligence officers of the Sri Lanka Navy, who were arrested in connection to the murder of parliamentarian Nadarajah Raviraj and his security personnel Lakshman Lokuwella.
The order for release was given on the morning of December 24, in the longest hearing of a case in history of the Court, before a special Jury Committee. Colombo High Court Judge Manilal Vaidyathilaka gave the order at 12:15 a.m.
Accordingly, the three former navy intelligence officers who were present in court, as well as two other defendants who were not present for the hearing, were dismissed of all charges and released.
The Criminal Investigation Department had initially filed the case against six suspects. However, the first defendant had passed away. Police Constable Preethi Viraj of the Presidential Security Unit who was also leveled with charges was granted ‘conditional pardon’ and was listed as the sole witness for the case.
Nadarajah Raviraj and his security personnel were assassinated on November 10, 2006, while travelling in a jeep along Matha Road in Narahenpita. On June 20, 2016, charges were leveled against six suspects including three navy intelligence personnel at the Colombo Magistrate.
The hearing before a special Jury commenced on November 22 and the examination of witnesses concluded last night. It is important to note that the case pertaining to the murder of Nadarajah Raviraj was the first time in history where a hearing was taken up before a special jury committee comprising seven members who were graduates and senior state officials.
The first case of its kind where the longest time was spent on examination of witnesses on the final day of the hearing. The examination of witnesses commenced at 10:45 a.m. and went on until midnight. It is also the first instance where a judgement was given by Court past midnight.
24 Dec, 2016 | 07:17 PM
28 Feb, 2020 | 08:45 PM
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