The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) informed the Colombo Magistrate yesterday that, according to the observations and evidence, the first bullets fired during the Mulleriyawa shooting were from a weapon entrusted to slain presidential advisor Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra’s bodyguard.
CID ASP Shani Abeysekara, filing a report before Colombo Additional Magistrate Prasanna Alwis, informed court that the Government Analyst’s report had identified one of the weapons from which shots had been fired during the election day shootout in Mulleriyawa as being the one issued to Randunuge Gamini, the bodyguard of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra.
However Counsel Jagath Abeynayake, appearing for Randudnuge Gamini, strongly objected to the Analyst’s report and said that even though the report alleged that his client had fired the first shot there was no proof or evidence. He said that the weapon was not recovered from the possession of his client. He said his client was the first person shot and injured. He said the bodyguard’s eye had been injured. He said the CID, in order to divert the investigations, had made his client a scapegoat.
Meanwhile, the CID informed the magistrate that, according to the medical reports, one hand and one leg of Colombo District UPFA MP Duminda Silva, who sustained injuries during the shooting incident would be permanently paralysed.
Silva is currently undergoing treatment overseas.
The diagnosis report (prepared by Dr. Maheshi Wijesekera, who had performed the brain operation on Mr. Silva at the Jayawardanepura Hospital on the day of the shooting) was produced by the CID. According to the medical report, Duminda Silva had sustained gunshot injuries to his brain.
On an earlier court order, the medical report was produced before the magisterial inquiry into the killing of Premachandra on October 8.
Three officers attached to Ministerial Security Division who had provided security to both Premachandra and Silva were among the suspects detained over the killing. the CID informed court. The CID stated that, according to Govt. Analyst’’s examination some of the bullets recovered from the scene had been fired from the weapons issued to the three MSD officers.
The CID also said that four of the 16 suspects had been produced in open court and it would not be possible to hold an identification parade for them. ASP Abeysekara said that an identification parade would be held for ten more suspects. He said there were nine witnesses who would be asked to identify the suspects.
He also said MSD officer Randunuge Gamini, who had been Premachandra’s bodyguard and was at present undergoing treatment at the Police Hospital, was being kept under fiscal custody.
Counsel Upul Kumarapperuma, appearing for the family of Mr. Premachandra, submitted that the inquiry was to ascertain who shot and killed Bharatha and the other three. Nevertheless, he said, the police were attempting to combine Duminda Silva’s inquiry with this inquiry with some ulterior motive. He asked the court to order the CID to hold separate inquiries into the two incidents.
Counsel Weerasena Ranahewa, appearing for Duminda Silva, said that his client was first shot by Bharatha’s faction and he (Silva) was injured first.
On being asked by the magistrate whether the CID could file two separate cases over the incident, ASP Shani Abeysekera said that he would get the Attorney General’s instructions in that regard and inform court. Further inquiry was put off for January 3. (T. Farook Thajudeen)