Parliamentarian Duminda Silva’s official bodyguard who is alleged to have shot former parliamentarian and presidential adviser Baratha Lakshman Premachandra on Election Day at Mulleriyawa was further remanded till November 1 pending an identification parade.
Police constable Anura Thushara De Mel of the Mirihana Police was ordered to be produced for the identification parade on November 1 by Colombo Additional Magistrate Prasanna de Alwis.
The case was heard in camera in the Magistrate’s Chamber. Counsel Anuja Premaratna with Mahinda Matugama and Indunil Piyatissa who appeared for the suspect and Duminda Silva told court the suspect who was to be produced for an identification parade had been already identified at the CID by Mr. Premachandra’s driver Santha Perera and as such the law did not permit the holding of another identification parade.
He said at the time of the shootout his client Duminda Silva was also shot and asked the court to inquire from the prosecution as to who shot his client and who shot first whether it was Duminda Silva or Baratha Lakshman.
CID Special Investigation Unit OIC Merryl Ranjan told the Magistrate that in addition to the driver there were several other eye witnesses who had seen the incident and the suspect had to be identified by them too.
Inspector Ranjan also told court that eight other suspects who were detained in the TID and had been questioned in connection with the killing.
The CID wanted the postponement of the identification parade as investigations were still not over and statement had to be recorded.
The driver in his statement to the CID alleged that at the time of the tragedy he was driving Mr. Premachandra’s vehicle towards the Angoda Junction with two other cars following them.
A convoy of cars that came from the opposite direction blocked the road opposite Sirimavo Bandaranaike Library at Walpola. Mr. Premachandra who was seated next to the driver’s seat got down from the car while Mr. Silva also got down from his car and an argument began between the two of them. Mr. Silva had suddenly slapped Mr. Premachandra who fell. Mr. Silva then shot Mr. Premachandra on his head and shouted to his bodyguards asking them to shoot Mr. Premachandra. At that point the bodyguard shot Mr. Premachadra with his T-56 assault rifle.
Inspector Ranjan produced two T-56 assault rifles, three 3.8 revolvers, ten pistols, ten 9mm pistols, 41 live and used bullets which were recovered from the scene of the shooting at Walpola Junction. (T. Farook Thajudeen)