Murder accused acquitted

By Cyril Wimalasurendre

KANDY – High Court Judge Amenda Seneviratne yesterday acquitted the accused in a murder case on the basis that the prosecution had not provided evidence to prove its case.

In this case Nilanka Sujeeva Dias (28) of Ihalamulle Ankumbura was indicted with the murder of Leela Ariyaratne (42) of Ankumbura on 25.03.1999.

High Court Judge Amenda Seneviratne discharged the accused without calling for the address from the defence.

The decision of the Judge was sequel submissions by President’s Counsel Wijaya Wickremaratne, senior counsel for the accused, that none of the witnesses for the prosecution came out with evidence regarding the act of killing which was of primary importance in a case of murder.

Counsel Wickremaratne submitted that it appeared there was no need even to call for a defence address since the prosecution failed to bring forward evidence regarding the act of killing.

In view of this position, he proposed that the accused be discharged.

The husband of the victim Edirisinghe Ariyaratne, son Saman Kumara Ariyaratne, daughter Damayanthi Ariyaratne, Dr. M. K. D. Dissanayake, J. P. Saman Ariyadasa and P. S. Kapukotuwa gave evidence.

State Counsel Shaminda Wickrema prosecuted.

President’s Counsel Wijaya Wickremaratne with attorneys Nimal Suraweera and (Ms.) Jeevani Herathge appeared for the accused.

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