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Krishanthi Kumaraswamy appeal fixed for November 4,5

Hokandara murder appeal fixed for Nov. 27, 28

by Wasantha Ramanayake

The appeals in respect of the Krishanthi Kumaraswamy and the Hokandara murder trials are to be argued before a Bench of five Supreme Court Judges. The Court fixed the appeal in respect of the Krishanthi Kumaraswamy case for November 4 and 5 and the other for November 27 and 28.

The Bench comprised Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva PC, Dr. (Mrs.) Shirani Bandaranayake and Asoka de Silva.

In the Krishanthi Kumaraswamy murder appeal Counsel Ranjith Abeysuriya PC submitted that he was appearing for the first accused-appellant. The other accused-appellant who were present in court submitted that they would retain counsel to appear on behalf of them for the next hearing date.

In the appeal accused-appellants, army personnel, R.D.Somaratne Rajapakse, G. Pradeep Priyadarshana, A. S. P. Perera, D.M. Jayathilake, D.V. Indrajith Kumara, and J.M. Jayasinghe had cited the Attorney General as the respondent. They were convicted and sentenced by the Trial-at-Bar in Colombo for the abduction, for committing the rape and murder of Krishanthi Kunmaraswamy, and committing the murders of Rasamma Kumaraswamy, Kumaraswamy Poonrnawan and Thiruba Moorthi in Chemmani, Jaffna on or around September 7, 1996. Accused-appellants sought to set aside the conviction order and the death sentence.

The argument was fixed for November 4 and 5.

In the Hokandara murder appeal that came before the same Bench, counsel R. Arsekuleratne submitted that he was appearing for the fourth accused-appellant while counsel Saliya Pieris submitted that he would appear for the first-accused. The other accused-appellant who were present in court submitted that they would retain counsel to appear on behalf of them for the next hearing date.

In this case, the High Court sentenced and convicted accused-appellants Hewa Elapathage Menaka Sanjeewa alias Ukkuwa, Kariyawasam Jayalathge Sampath Sri Nandana, Sudasingha Arachchige Mahinda Siriwardana and Heeralu Pathiralage Gayan Suranga in connection with committing the murders of six members of the same family.

The victims were Vithanage Lalanadasa (Father), Sriyawathi Perera (mother), Chandra Priyanganee, Chitra Dayangani, Nayana Damayanthi (three daughters) and Vithanage Nissanka Perera (son) all of Amaragoda Road, Hokandara and were murdered on February 10, 1999. They were found guilty of committing gang rape.

The argument was fixed for November 27 and 28.

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