Court of Appeal Bench comprising Justices Kumudini Wickramasinghe and Priyantha Fernando today set aside the conviction and sentence of accused appellant Kanagasooriyan Alaguthurai and acquitted him.
Mr. Alaguthurai is a resident of Trincomalee and a fisherman by occupation. On June 29, 2008, he and several others were arrested by the security forces at a check point in Uppral.
He was said to have had a detonator explosive substance RDX in his possession at the time of his arrest.
Mr. Alaguthurai was indicted under Emergency Regulation No: 1405/14 of 13.08.2005 in the Trincomalee High Court. The prosecution led the evidence of several army and police personnel, and the Deputy Government Analyst.
The accused denied the allegations but the Court found him guilty and on July 10, 2014 sentenced him to life imprisonment.
He appealed against the conviction and sentence.
Mr. Alagathurai's Counsel said the charge against him could not stand and that the productions alleged to have been recovered from the accused were not properly produced and forwarded to the Government Analyst.
He said the prosecution had failed to place before Court witnesses or evidence to prove the integrity of the chain of custody of the productions and that obnoxious evidence had been allowed to be led by the prosecution.
Considering the above, the Attorney General indicated that they did not wish to proceed with the matter. Consequently, the Court of Appeal set aside the conviction and sentence and acquitted the accused.
Senior Counsel K.S. Ratnavale with Suranga Bandara and Ranitha Mayooran appeared for the Mr. Alagathurai while Senior State Counsel H.A. Navavi appeared for the AG. (S.S. Selvanayagam)