The verdict delivered by High Court Judge Manilal Waidyatilleka as per the unanimous decision reached by the jury, comes following one month long trial.
The jury’s decision was that the accused cannot be convicted based solely on the fact that they were identified several witnesses in the case.
According to the state owned radio SLBC, the verdict was announced at 12.25 am today. The case had been heard before a special Jury for the first time in history and this is said to be the first ever occasion that a verdict was given after midnight.
The case had been filed against 6 suspects - Palana Sami Suresh alias Sami, Prasad Chandana Kumara alias Sampath, Gamini Seneviratne, Pradeep Chaminda alias Vajira, Sivakanthan Vivekanandan alias Charan, and Fabian Royston Tusen on five counts, including committing the murder of former MP Nadaraja Raviraj and his security officer Lokuwella Murage Laksman under the provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and Penal Code.
One of them had died during the court proceedings. Therefore 5 persons including three former officers of Navy intelligence unit were released today.
Three accused who were not present before Court, had been identified as ex-LTTE cadres affiliated to the Karuna faction. Wijeya Wickrema Manamperige Sanjaya Preethi Viraj was made State witness for the Raviraj murder trial.
Raviraj was shot dead near his residence at Manning Town in Narahenpita during the period between November 9, 2006 and November 10, 2006 when he was driving his vehicle along Martha Road.
The CID recovered the three wheeler and the weapon alleged to have been used in the killing of the former Parliamentarian.
Senior Deputy Solicitor General Rohantha Abeysooriya with Senior State Counsel Suharshi Herath appeared for the Attorney General. Senior Counsel Anuja Premaratne with Rasika Balasuriya, Yuran Liyanage appeared for the accused, while Counsel K.V. Thavarasa appeared for the aggrieved party. Counsel Darshana Ranmuthuge appeared for the State Witness.