‘Sarpaya’ acquitted of murder charges

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Colombo High Court Judge Navaratne Marasinghe, yesterday acquitted and released from the trial UNP Sabaragamuwa PC member Hasitha Muhandiram, alias ‘Sarpaya’, who was accused of double murder in 1999.

Muhandiram had been accused of murdering Ex-Sabaragamuwa PC member Ranjith Nandasena and his security officer, who had been shot at inside their vehicle, after which it had been set on fire.

Announcing the verdict of the trial, Judge Marasinghe, stated that the Police Department had failed to conduct its probe into the case effectively.

The Judge charged that the Police had in fact conducted the probe into the case in a negligent manner and insisted that the testimony put forth before him, had further proved it.

He added that even the judicial medical reports submitted to Court by the prosecution, had been inconclusive.

The Judge therefore deemed that the prosecution had miserably failed to prove any of its charges, against the accused, beyond a reasonable doubt and acquitted the accused from all charges filed against him and released him from the case.

The AG had indicted Muhandiram before the HC, on charges of murdering former Sabaragamuwa PC member Nandasena and his security officer Deepal Gunasinghe, on 3 September 23 years ago.

By Hansi Nanayakkara