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Thilanga Sumathipala case hearing put off

by Indeewara Thilakarathne

The Prosecution in the Thilanga Sumathipala bail application filed objections and sought a short date for inquiry when the application came up for hearing in the Court of Appeal yesterday.Accordingly the Court put off the hearing for March 31, 2004 for inquiry.

The Bench comprised Justices Chandradasa Nanayakkara and Gamini A.L Abeyratne.

In this application the petitioner, the Chairman Sri Lanka Telecom and Sri Lanka Cricket Thilanga Sumathipala has cited the IGP, the Director Criminal Investigation Department, OIC Anti-Human Smuggling Unit and the Attorney General as respondents.

The petitioner Sumathipala is the second accused in the Magistrate's Court case where he is being charged with aiding and abetting Dhammika Amarasinghe to forge a passport in the name of Buddhika Priyashantha Godage and aiding and abetting Dhammika Amarasinghe to travel abroad using the forged passport.

The Counsel for the Petitioner D.S Wijesinghe PC submitted that the defence was ready for the inquiry. However the Senior State Counsel Suhada Gamlath insisted on going for a further date.

He objected to the application that the petitioner Sumathipala would influence the prosecution's and coerced into refraining from testifying against the witness as he had already done in exerting pressure upon the Additional Magistrate to give a favourable verdict to the petitioner.

The Counsel further stated that the absence of vital documentary evidence from the Air Lanka Office at Katunayake will make it clear that there is an ongoing manipulation to subvert the course of justice in a manner advantageous to the petitioner.

The Counsel for the petitioner stated that a politician charged on murder was granted bail on the very day the objection was filed. He argued that there must be uniformity in the administration of justice.

The Counsel accused the Attorney General's Department of not acting in a bona fide manner and stated there was no basis for the prosecution's objection to the bail application. He stated that it was the petitioner's personal liberty curtailed by this action.

Court put off further hearing for March 31, 2004, for inquiry.

D.S. Wijesinghe PC with D.P Kumarasinghe PC, Denzil Gunaratne, Kolitha Darmaratne, Naveen Marapana, Sampath Zoysa, Ajith Jayathunga instructed by Priyantha Amunugama appeared for the petitioner Thilanga Sumathipala while Suhada Gamlath appeared for the prosecution.

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