A former staff sergeant attached to Sri Lanka Army who was found guilty for the murder of eight Tamil civilians in Mirusuvil, Jaffna in 2000 was today sentenced to death by the Colombo High Court after a 13-year-trial.
High Court Judges Lalith Jayasuriya and Preethi Padman Surasena found the first accused, former Staff Sergeant R.M. Sunil Ratnayake of the army Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) guilty of 17 counts including unlawful assembly with common intention to cause injury and murder of eight persons.
The Court further imposed a fine of Rs.51,000 on the accused and observed that he would be liable to a seven-month-imprisonment on default of the fine.
Four other accused Second Lieutenant R.W. Senaka Munasinghe, T.M. Jayaratne, S.A. Pushpa Saman Kumara and Gamini Munasinghe were not found guilty and thereby acquitted and released from the case.
When the judges asked the accused whether he was guilty or not guilty to each charge, the first accused told the open Court that he was not pleading guilty to the charges.
In this case R.M. Sunil Ratnayake, Second Lieutenant R.W. Senaka Munasinghe, T.M. Jayaratne, S.A. Pushpa Saman Kumara and Gamini Munasinghe were accused on 17 counts including unlawful assembly with common intention to cause injury and murder of eight persons on December 19, 2000 at Mirusuvil and committing the murder of eight Tamil villagers.
The Attorney General indicted five accused on 17 charges in the murder of Gnanapalan Raviveeran, Sellamuttu Theivakulasingham, Vilvarajah Pratheepan, Sinniah Vilvarajah, Nadesu Jeyachandran, Kathiran Gnanachandran, Gnanachandran Santhan and Vilvarajah Prasath in Mirusuvil of the Jaffna peninsula before a High Court at Trial-at-Bar.
Additional Solicitor General Sarath Jayamanna appeared for the Attorney General. (Lakmal Sooriyagoda)