Deputy Solicitor General Thusith Mudalige appearing on behalf of the Attorney General made these remarks when the appeal petitions filed by five accused including former Defence Ministry Monitoring MP Duminda Silva challenging the judgment of Colombo High Court were taken up for hearing before the Supreme Court five-judge-Bench.
Mudalige further informed court that trial judges of the High Court have properly analysed the direct involvement of Duminda Silva who gave the leadership to commit the series of offences on the day the murder took place.
The Supreme Court five-judge-bench comprised Chief Justice Priyasath Dep, Justice Buwaneka Aluvihare, Justice Prasanna Jayawardena, Justice Nalin Perera and Justice Vijith Malalgoda.
Further hearing into the matter was fixed for July 20.
Five accused including former Defence Ministry Monitoring MP Duminda Silva who were sentenced to death by the Colombo High Court for committing the murder of four persons including former MP Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra had filed appeal petitions in the Supreme Court challenging the judgment of Colombo High Court.
Duminda Silva, the eleventh accused in the murder case, had filed an acceleration petition in the Supreme Court requesting that the hearing on the appeal be accelerated on medical grounds.
Through his appeal, Duminda Silva stated that he was seeking the jurisdiction of Supreme Court to review and set aside their conviction and the death sentence imposed by High Court on September 8, 2015.
The five accused including former MP Duminda Silva were on September 8, 2015 sentenced to death by the Colombo High Court for committing the murder of four persons including former MP Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra on October 8, 2011. However, the verdict was divided two to one with judges Pathmini N. Ranawaka and M.C.B.S. Moreis finding five accused guilty on 10 charges including committing and conspiring to commit murder of four people while Justice Shiran Gunaratne, President of the Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar found the thirteen accused not guilty of all seventeen charges.
President’s Counsel Anil de Silva, Shavindra Fernando PC, Anuja Premaratne PC, Anura Meddegoda PC and Saliya Peiris PC appeared for the accused.