Written by Zulfick Farzan
04 Dec, 2020 | 12:53 pm
Colombo (News 1st); The case filed pertaining to the Mahara Prisoners who were killed in Sunday’s (29) prison riot was postponed to the 11th of December.
The case was filed by the Committee for Protecting Rights of Prisoners against the cremation of the dead prisoners who were identified as those who were exposed to COVID-19, and it was called up in the presence of Wattala Magistrate Buddhika C. Ragala.
08 prisoners among those killed in the riots, had tested positive for COVID-19.
The Judicial Medical Officer of the Ragama Hospital and health staff told the Wattala Magistrate, the COVID-19 prevention guidelines issued by the Health Authorities have posed a legal impediment with regard to burying the dead prisoners.
However, Senaka Perera, a lawyer with the Committee for Protecting Rights of Prisoners told the court, cremation of the bodies would pose an impediment to the investigations on the dead and would also pave the way for the perpetrators to evade prosecution.
He argued, the Health Guidelines are valid for COVID-19 patient who passed away due to natural causes, however, should not be incorporated with respect to criminal matters such as murder.
The Ragama Police OIC was ordered by the court to ensure a representative from the Attorney General’s Department is present when the case is called up, on the 11th of December.
Senaka Perera, a lawyer with the Committee for Protecting Rights of Prisoners told reporters after the court proceedings, said when the motion was filed earlier, the court requested for the Health Authorities and the Attorney General to announce their position on the matter.
However, the Attorney General’s stance was available when the matter was called up on Friday (02), he said.
He said the Health Authorities informed the court of their position on the matter.
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