Udathalawinna massacre
Court had not given permission to check vehicles for fingerprints - Witness

by Priyalal Sirisena
“Though some fingerprints on the vehicles involved in the incident had been found, court had not given permission to check them,” the Teldeniya Magistrate Ms Preethi Inoka Ranasinghe said in her testimony before the Colombo High Court in the Udathalawinna massacre case yesterday.

She said that the ’B‘ reports had mentioned that the witnesses of the parades had been under the supervision of police constables Linton Ratnayake and Susil Silva. “The officer who went into the prison for the purpose of taking fingerprints of the suspects was Linton Ratnayake. He was in charge of the identification parades.”

 “Before I assumed duties on the request of K. Udugampola, Clifford Soysa of the Military Police was in  the team of investigators. On December 31, the acting Magistrate sent a letter informing the Commander of the Army to assist the investigation group supplying the relevant documents,” she said.

 “Following a motion by Linton Ratnayake on January 22 2002, summons were issued on the witnesses to appear before court on February 05. But the witnesses had not come to court on that day.”

“On December 09, 2002, Linton Ratnayake had informed  court in a ’B‘ report that some fingerprints had been found in the vehicles. But no permission had been obtained from court to compare those fingerprints. I gave permission to a investigating team to go to the prison to check the prints.”

Another team was sent to the prison to take the fingerprints.”

“The OIC Crime Investigation Unit Kandy, made a request that he be permitted to carry out the investigations in into the prison. I don’t know who Clifford Soysa was engaged in the investigations is. I don’t know how the participants to the parades from the Pallekele Camp were selected,” said the witness.

Further hearing will continue today.

This case is heard before a three judge bench comprising High Court Judges Eric Basnayake, Deepali Wijesundera and Sunil Rajapakse.