Feb 19, 2020

Three death row prisoners released!

The Appeal Court had acquitted and released three death row prisoners yesterday, who had been given the death sentence by the Matara High Court over murder charges and had served 15 years.

The three convicted prisoners are Dayaratne Wijesundara, Welapeelige Saman alias Konda Saman and Subasinghage Premasiri. They are all residents of Lelwala, Katumetiyawa, Matara.

The appeal was taken up before Appeal Court Judges Achala Wengappuli and Dr. Ruwan Fernando. The victim is Wickramarachchi Kankanamge Jinadasa. The murder had taken place on  April 08th 2005 where three masked men had entered Jinadasa’s home around 7.30 pm and stabbed him to death, injured his wife and daughter and stolen their cash and jewellery.

However, the in their verdict the Appeal Court judges determined that although the murder of an innocent man who had lived peacefully with his family is a terrible crime, there isn’t enough evidence to establish without doubt who had committed the crime.

It was also revealed that the wife of the deceased Seelawathie and their daughter had made contradictory statements at the Matara Court and Seelawathie’s testimony had been rejected by the court. Therefore the judges determined that the evidence available could not establish without doubt that the crime was committed by the three accused persons.

Counsel Nihal Gunasinghe appeared for the first defendant, Coulsel Chandana Sri Nishshanka appeared for the second defendant and Counsels Amila Palliyage, Nihara Randeniya, Sandeepani Wijesooriya and Duminda Alwis  appeared for the third defendant.

Deputy Solicitor General Chethiya Gunasekara appeared on behalf of the Attorney General.