Defence attorneys appearing on behalf of the accused in the alleged murder of former TNA Jaffna District MP Nadaraja Raviraj, yesterday requested for a special jury trial consisting of Sinhala speaking members into the murder of the former MP.
However, the Counsel who appeared on behalf of the aggrieved party, raised objections against the request stating that a trial by jury could not be proceeded in this case since three charges out of five had been levelled under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).
High Court Judge Manilal Waidyatilleke directed the parties to file written submissions regarding the jury trial on October 11.
At a previous occasion, the Colombo 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 and 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.
Deputy Solicitor General Rohantha Abeysooriya appeared for the Attorney General. Counsel Anuja Premaratne appeared for the accused, while Counsel K.V.Thavarasa appeared for the aggrieved party.
by Lakmal Sooriyagoda