Priest and five others acquitted of all charges after court hearing
May 27, 2011
A Jesuit priest and five other people who were accused of having links with Tamil Tiger rebels have been acquitted after a court hearing on Tuesday.
Father Paul Satkunanayagam and the others, all ethnic Tamils, were arrested in Dambulla on February 9. They were freed two days later. The Jesuit priest and others appeared in court on March 23 for their first hearing but the case was postponed until May 24.
“The Crime Investigating Department, Terrorist Investigating Department and Security Intelligent Service went through my life history, my counseling centre history, funders who help me and my accounts,” said Father Satkunanayagam.
Father Satkunanayagam said he was acquitted from charges of being affiliated to “violent groups.”
Media reports said the priest and five others arrested were allegedly in possession of CDs containing war songs that were sung by Tamil Tiger rebels.
Father Satkunanayagam, who is in his 70s and is in poor health, works at an NGO center in Batticaloa where he offers counseling. He studied in the United States where he obtained a doctorate in psychology.