A former Inter University Students Union Federation convener and Human Rights lawyer Udul Preparatne was granted bail by a Colombo Magistrate yesterday amidst strong police objections.
The suspect was produced before court by his Counsel Gunaratna Wanninayake on a motion filed by Attorney – at- Law Manjula Pathiraja and submitted to Additional Magistrate Ms. Praharsha Ranasinghe that Udul Premaratna was a lawyer who intervened in human rights violation matters. He said that on April 21 when his client came to know of an incident that took place on Baseline Road, Borella following the arrest of 33 persons of “T 20 Watta” in Borella, had gone there and intervened on behalf of the residents of the area. Subsequently the Police had filed a report in court making him a suspect in the case and had moved to notice him to appear in court.
However the Magistrate declining the request had told Borella Police they could arrest Udul Premaratne only if he had committed an offence.
Subsequently, on Tuesday (24) at around 2.30 a.m., three police teams from six Police Stations consisting of around 60 police officers had gone to Premeratne’s parent’s house as well as several other places to arrest him. Defense Counsel accused the police of attempting to take revenge on his client for appearing on behalf of the residents of “T20 watte.”
The Borella Police however, submitted that the lawyer was the main suspect in the incident that took place on April 21. The Magistrate while releasing Udul Premaratna on Rs 5000 cash with two sureties for 100,000 each ordered Police to record his statement in the court premises. (Farook Thajudeen)