Expert committee to conduct postmortem on dead Mahara prisoners

Expert committee to conduct postmortem on dead Mahara prisoners

Expert committee to conduct postmortem on dead Mahara prisoners

Written by Zulfick Farzan

08 Dec, 2020 | 6:32 pm

Colombo (News 1st); The Attorney General’s Department and the Committee for Protecting Rights of Prisoners agreed at the Wattala Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday (08) to conduct the postmortem examination with regard to the 11 prisoners killed in the Mahara Prison Riot which took place on the 29th of November & 01st of December.

The committee is to comprise of 03 Senior Judicial Medical Officers, a Ballistic Expert from the Government Analyst’s Department, and a representative from the College of Forensic Pathologists of Sri Lanka.

On an application filed by the Attorney General, the order with respect to appointing the committee of experts will be taken up for consideration on Wednesday (09).

The Attorney General’s Department and Sri Lanka Police were represented by State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne in the court today.

Making submissions in the court, she said there is a risk of COVID-19 spreading in Ragama Hospital where the bodies of the prisoners killed in the Mahara Prison Riot are placed, as 08 of the victims had tested positive for the virus.

Making an application, she said the Attorney General had recommended for the appointment of a panel of experts comprising of 03 Senior Judicial Medical Officers and a Ballistic Expert from the Government Analyst’s Department, to conduct the postmortem on the deceased.

Making further submissions, the State Counsel noted following the postmortem the bodies will have to be cremated as per the given health guidelines.

However, counsel for the aggrieved party had requested an additional doctor from a university be appointed to the committee.

The AGs Department had stressed the nominations for the committee were made by the Director-General of Health Services and the Government Analysts Department and vehemently objected to the appointments of an additional doctor from a university

However, on the need to expedite the process the Attorney General’s Department said if the court issues an order, a request can be forwarded to the President of the College of Forensic Pathologists of Sri Lanka to also make a nomination to the committee of experts.

State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne said Police Spokesperson DIG Ajith Rohana had written to the Attorney General on the 06th of December (Sunday), requesting representation by the AGs Department at the Magistrate’s Court for the case filed over the Mahara Prison Riot.

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