Oct 11, 2018

Duminda Silva’s appeal verdict expected today

The verdict in the most controversial court case in recent times, the special appeal filed by MP Duminda Silva against the verdict issued against him in the Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra trial, is expected to be delivered by the five judge Supreme Court bench today (11).

Five persons had been killed in the incident which took place in Mulleriyawa, Himbutana on October 08, 2011 during the Provincial Council elections, including Bharatha Lakashman Premachandra while Duminda Silva sustained life threatening injuries. In 2015, the current government expedited the investigations and the Attorney General filed charges against 13 persons including Duminda Silva.

The case was heard before a three judge High Court bench including Senior Judges Shiran Gunaratne, Padmini S. Ranawaka and M.C.B.S. Morayas and the verdict was delivered on September 08, 2016.

Chief Judge’s verdict!

The Chief Judge in his verdict said that the evidence against the accused was insufficient to prove the charges without a reasonable doubt and decided to acquit and release the suspects.
Of the two other judges, Judge Padmini Ranawana’s verdict, of the 13 accused, the 5th accused who was evading courts Janaka Priyantha Galabodad and Duminda Silva’s bodyguards Anura Thushara de Mel, Sarath Kumara Bandara and Chaminda Ravi Jayanath and the 11th accused Duminda Silva were found to be guilty and handed the death sentence. Judge M.C.B. Morayas also approved this verdict.

Accordingly, the majority verdict was issued.

Not satisfied with the verdict:

The Defence Attorneys notified that they were not satisfied with the verdict and would file an appeal.

Based on the approval of the judge panel, a special appeal petition was filed in the Supreme Court and was taken up for hearing before a five member Supreme Court judge panel.

Accordingly, the case was taken up before a Supreme Court five-judge-bench comprising Chief Justice Priyasath Dep, Justice Buwaneka Aluvihare and Justice Prasanna Jayawardena, Justice Nalin Perera and Justice Vijith Malalgoda.
The petition hearing concluded on July 05 and the five member bench notified both parties to hand over any other notifications to the Supreme Court Registrar before August 10.

The Judgement would be given thereafter having considered all other factors.

Accordingly, the five bench Supreme Court judge panel is scheduled to deliver their verdict today.


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