Acquittal of six soldiers in Kumarapuram massacre case AG appeals A’pura HC jury decision

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By 2016-11-02

By Ananda Karunadasa – Anuradhapura

The Attorney General (AG) has appealed to the Court of Appeal against the Anuradhapura High Court Jury decision by which six former Corporals of the Army were exonerated and acquitted in a case where they had been charged with the murder of 24 Tamil civilians and injuring another 25 by shooting, at Kiliveddi in Kumarapuram, Trincomalee.
The Appellate Court decided to hear the Attorney General's appeal on 22 November.

The Appeal was submitted to Court by Senior State Counsel Sudharshana de Silva, who informed the Court that the unanimous verdict. issued by the Jury, at the Anuradhapura High Court, to exonerate and acquit the former Army men, the Defendants in the Case, who had been charged in connection with the incident that took place at the village of Kiliveddi in Kumarapuram, Trincomalee, is against the law.

"While the plaintiff has proved beyond reasonable doubt that the Defendants were guilty of the accusations against them, the Anuradhapura High Court Jury verdict, exonerating them of all wrongdoing and releasing them, is complete injustice to the victims," the appeal states.

The six former Corporals of the Army, who were exonerated and released three months ago, on a unanimous decision of the Anuradhapura High Court Jury, were Sausirigedera Nishantha, N. M. Ajith Sisira Kumara, M. P. Kapila Dharshana, H. M. Abeysinghe, Pavaram Jedige Upasena and Hiti Bandaralage Abeysinghe Hiti Bandara.

It is of significance that, over this incident, which took place on or around 11 February 1996, in the village of Kiliveddi in Kumarapuram, Trincomalee the Attorney General had filed 101 separate indictments, in the Anuradhapura High Court, against each of these former Army men and that it was the longest list of indictments submitted against the defendants in a criminal case in the history of the Anuradhapura High Court. There were 121 witnesses in the Case.

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