State witness in Ravi Raj Murder case released from case inquiry | Daily News

State witness in Ravi Raj Murder case released from case inquiry

The state witness in the trial in connection with the murder of former TNA Jaffna district MP Nadaraja Raviraj, was yesterday released from case inquiry by the Colombo High Court.

Counsel Darshana Ranmuthuge appearing for the State Witness moved Court that his client be released from the case since he has spent over 21 months in remand custody. High Court Judge Manilal Waidyatilleke ordered to release the state witness from the case inquiry taking into consideration the fact that both prosecution and defence witnesses have concluded giving their evidence.

Witness Wijeya Wickrema Manamperige Sanjaya Preethi Viraj, 39, a former Constable attached to PSD who was made a state witness for the Raviraj murder trial has concluded giving evidence into the case.

The state witness had earlier told High Court Judge Manilal Waidyatilleke that he had served as a police constable in the Eastern Province and engaged in military operations against LTTE. He had said that he closely associated with ex-LTTE cadres affiliated to the Karuna faction and engaged in military operations against the LTTE in the Northern Province.

The state witness testified that he received a telephone call from Palana Sami Suresh, a member of Karuna faction asking him to come to Borella to kill an LTTE member.

The witness said he saw a red colour jeep being shot by the third accused, Gamini Seneviratne at Matha Road in Narahenpita. The state witness stated that he received instructions to be accompanied with the gunman on a motorcycle and to kill an LTTE member. The state witness admitted that until the shooting that took place in Narahenpita, he was not aware about the person who was going to be killed.

He affirmed that he met several other accused, including Charan, Palana Sami Suresh and Fabian Royston Tusen when he was at the Naval intelligence camp in Laundry Watta Matha Road in Narahenpita following the shooting incident.

The High Court allowed to proceed with the Raviraj murder trial in absentia of the three accused: Palana Sami Suresh alias Sami, Sivakanthan Vivekanandan alias Charan and Fabian Royston Tusen who were evading Court since the initiation of investigations.

The indictments were filed against six accused Palana Sami Suresh alias Sami, Prasad Chandana Kumara alias Sampath, Gamini Seneviratne, Pradeep Chaminda alias Vajira, Sivakanthan Vivekanandan alias Charan and Fabian Royston Tusen on five counts, including committing the murder of former MP Nadaraja Raviraj and his security officer Lokuwella Murage Laksman under the provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and Penal Code.

Three accused who were not present before Court, had been identified as ex-LTTE cadres affiliated to the Karuna faction. Wijeya Wickrema Manamperige Sanjaya Preethi Viraj was made State witness for the Raviraj murder trial.

Raviraj was shot dead near his residence at Manning Town in Narahenpita during the period between November 9, 2006 and November 10, 2006 when he was driving his vehicle along Martha Road. The CID recovered the trishaw and the weapon alleged to have been used in the killing of the former Parliamentarian.

Senior Deputy Solicitor General Rohantha Abeysooriya with Senior State Counsel Suharshi Herath appeared for the Attorney General. Senior Counsel Anuja Premaratne with Rasika Balasuriya and Asith Siriwardena appeared for the accused, while Counsel K.V. Thavarasa appeared for the aggrieved party. Counsel Darshana Ranmuthuge appeared for the State Witness.


 

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