Preliminary objection decision on 4 June

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The decision pertaining the preliminary objection raised by the defendants MP Rajitha Senaratne and former State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) Chairman Mohamed Rumi, in connection with the controversial media briefing convened in 2019 on ‘white van abductions’ will be delivered on 4 June.

Colombo High Court Judge Damith Thotawatte yesterday (30) set a date for the judgment when the case was taken up. President’s Counsel Maithree Gunaratne, appearing for the defence, through the preliminary objection observed that the case could not be proceeded with. Senior Deputy Solicitor General Dileep Peiris appeared on behalf of the Attorney General yesterday (30).

The Attorney General filed indictments against Senaratne and Rumi for holding a Media briefing on 10 November 2019 where they revealed information on alleged abductions using white vans, murder, and torture together with certain other incidents. The charges were filed under Section 190, 169 (G) of the Penal Code and Section 80 of the Presidential Elections Act and 14 charges for aiding and abetting false accusations against the incumbent President and then Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Sakkalavalli Aaracchige Sarath Kumara and Watareka Gamage Athula Sanjeewa Madanayake, who were named as the first and second suspects, in the case before the Magistrate’s Court, in connection to the white van incident were released from all charges and have been named as State Witnesses for this case before the High Court.

By Hansi Nanayakkara