Verdict of 2012 Welikada Prison riot case postponed

Delivering the verdict of the case filed against former Inspector of Police (IP) Neomal Rangajeewa of Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) and former Prisons Commissioner Emil Ranjan Lamahewa over the Welikada Prison riot in 2012, has been postponed until January 12.

This was conveyed when the lawsuit was taken up before the bench consisting of Gihan Kulathunga, Pradeep Hettiarachchi and Manjula Thilakaratne of the Permanent High Court-at-Bar this morning.

The verdict was slated to be delivered today, however, the judge bench pronounced that it would be postponed until next Wednesday as they could not arrange the verdict.

During a previous hearing, the judge bench had stated that due to the complexity of the evidence presented at the trial, more time is needed to study the matter extensively and reach a verdict.

Twenty-seven inmates were killed while more than 20 others were injured in the fatal shooting during the Welikada Prison riot on November 09, 2012, when prisoners took control of the populated prison objecting to an unannounced search by the Special Task Force to nab hidden arms, drugs and mobile phones at the prison.

Former Attorney General Dappula de Livera had filed the case against Rangajeewa and Lamahewa under 33 charges. The indictments against the duo read that the inmates were imprisoned for allegedly engaging in drug dealing. Ex-AG had requested Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya to appoint a Trial-at-Bar to hear the case.

Rangajeewa was arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on March 28, 2018, over the alleged killing of inmates while Lamahewa, who was the then-Prisons Superintendent in charge of the Magazine Prison, was apprehended by CID at his official residence on Baseline Road, Colombo 09 the following day. – ada derana

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