The Peliyagoda Deputy Mayor and six others who were accused of extorting money from fish vendors at the newly built Peliyagoda fisheries complex were released on bail by the Colombo Acting Magistrate today.
Those released were Deputy Mayor Amila Nishantha Kumarasinghe; K.D. Roshan Dulip Jayaratna, B.D. Gayan Priyankra; Priyankara Rupasinghe; L.A. Sarath Nandasiri; W.G.M. Anil De Silva, and Roshan Tushitha Samarawickrama.
The defence counsel told court that the suspects were in remand for a considerable period of time and had not been identified by the victims at the identification parade and as such pleaded that they be released on bail.
The Magistrate observed that when there was ample evidence against the accused there was no need to produce them for an identification parade and in such circumstances not indicting them was improper. The next hearing was fixed for May 27.
The Colombo Crime Division (CCD) producing the suspects before Colombo Magistrate Prasanna de Alwis, alleged that the suspects had being members of an unlawful assembly and had extorted ransom from fish vendors at the Peliyagoda fisheries complex. The CCD said those who refused to pay cash were seriously injured when they were assaulted by thugs. (T. Farook Thajudeen)