Judges appointed to hear 3 high-profile cases from MR regime

Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya has appointed judges to hear three high-profile cases involving grave misdeeds during the former regime of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

All three cases relate to alleged crimes committed by members of the security forces when the current Presidential aspirant Gotabaya Rajapaksa was Secretary to the Ministry of Defense.

All three cases will be heard by three-judge trials-at-bar.

In the first case an Army Brigadier and two other soldiers are being tried in the incident that took place on 1 Aug 2013 when troops allegedly opened fire on unarmed people protesting against polluted water in their village at Rathupaswela.

Thirty-three people received gunshot injuries and three youth died in the incident.

The trial will take place at the Gampaha High Court and the judges will be Menaka Wijesundera (President), Nimal  Ranaweera and Nishantha Hapuarachchi.

The second high-profile case is the alleged abduction and enforced disappearance of journalist and cartoonist Prageeth Eknaligoda on 24 January 2010.

Eight Army Intelligence personnel are accused in this case which will be heard in the Colombo High Court.

According to the announcement released by the AG’s office the High Court Judges hearing this case will be Sampath Abeykoon  (President),  Sampath Wijerathna and Gihan Kulathunga.

The third case is over the Avant Garde High Seas Arms Trafficking case.

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The case will be heard by the following high court judges namely Dhammika Ganepola   (President),  Adithya Patabandige and Manjula Thilakarathna.

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