By Ishara Ratnakara
Colombo High Court Judge, Padmini N. Ranawaka, acquitting all 13 accused yesterday said Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera and 12 other defendants who were alleged to have been part of an illegal meeting by trespassing on and attacking the Calvary Church in Thalahena, Araliya Place, have not been identified by the complainant's witnesses.
In the case that was filed by the Attorney General, all 13 defendants were acquitted of the 11 charges against them.They had been accused of trespassing, attacking the Church, assaulting John Anton Andresson and Rohan Andresson, stealing a mobile phone worth Rs 15,000 and a gold chain worth Rs 50,000.
Apart from Gnanasara Thera, N.A. Athula Seneviratne, W.M. Sudubanda, H. Thamara Beatrice, Denzil Premakumar Perera, D.N.P. Kandanarachchi, B.K. Somadasa, E.M. Victor Ratnayake, K.W. Karunananda, E.M.M. Ratnayake, Ven. Antharagama Gnanawimala Thera, Ven. Agalgalle Sri Jinananda Thera and Dhanushka Sanjeewa had been named as the defendants.
"Identity is essential under the Criminal Law to prove charges. Common motive or intention is necessary. The accusers have not produced medical reports concerning the alleged assault. The mobile phone and the gold chain haven't been found. All parties testified that the OIC who came to the place had allegedly enraged everyone by his behaviour and actions. No action had been taken by the Police to arrest the defendants. None of the allegations have been proven beyond reasonable doubt," Judge Ranawaka said. Addressing the defendants upon acquittal, she added that anyone had the right of believing any religion they wanted.