- At AG’s request, CJ appoints Trial-at-Bar
By Manopriya Gunasekara and Shehan Chamika Silva
Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya yesterday appointed two special Trial-At-Bar to hear the two cases of Welikada Prison riots in which 27 inmates had been killed and the case of elephant trafficker Ali Roshan.
The Attorney General’s coordinating officer State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne said the Chief Justice has appointed the two three-Judge benches based on the request made by Attorney General Dappula de Livera.
The AG has made the request after considering the gravity of the two cases as seven years has passed since the Welikada riots in which 27 inmates were killed. He also said the case of Ali Roshan should be heard before a Trial-at-Bar as it led to a huge uproar in the society.
The accused in the Welikada riot case were former Inspector Neomal Rangajeewa of the Police Narcotics Bureau, former Prisons Commissioner Emil Ranjan Lamahewa and former Prisons Intelligence Unit officer Indika Sampath.
The AG said there was a good reason to hear the case before a three member Trial-at-Bar and mete out justice to the aggrieved parties.
In the Ali Roshan case, him and seven officers of the Wildlife Department including an assistant Director (legal) have been accused of altering the elephant registration book at the Wildlife Department paving the way for Ali Roshan to keep five elephants in his possession without valid licences.
On the request of Attorney General Dappula De Livera, the Chief Justice had appointed the following judges to appear in two cases: Gihan Kulathunga, Pradeep Hettiarachchi and Manjula Thilakarathna to appear as Judges in the Welikada Prison massacre case, whilst Judges Wikum Kaluarchchi, Dhammika Ganepola and Madduma Patabendige were appointed to appear in the elephant trafficking case.
The AG will file indictments accordingly.
Welikada riots killed 27 inmates 7 years ago