Ranawaka to face HC trial on 11 December
By Hansi Nanayakkara
The case against former Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka and two others, in connection with the 2016 Rajagiriya hit-and-run incident, which maimed the youth Sandeep Sampath, was fixed for trial on 11 December by Colombo High Court Judge Damith Thotawatta, yesterday (12).
The trio had been indicted on 16 counts and charged with the compilation of false evidence, the disappearance of evidence, tampering with evidence and the furnishing of false information to Court, regarding the said incident.
Judge Thotawatta also issued an order to the Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy to produce the jeep that was used by Ranawaka and which was allegedly involved in the accident, in Court, at the next hearing. The Court also ordered the Colombo Crimes Division to produce the motorbike ridden by youth Sampath and which was involved in the incident, in Court, at the next hearing date. The Judge issued these orders on requests made to him by Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris, who appeared for the prosecution on behalf of AG, Dappula de Livera. Peiris had urged Judge Thotawatta to issue an order to the Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy to produce the jeep (WP KT 7545) which had been driven by accused Ranawaka during the hit-and-run incident, to Court, at the next hearing.
The Judge issued summons to witnesses named from one to five to be present in Court to give testimony at the next hearing date.
The Court then ordered the prosecution to make available the facilities for the defence lawyers, if they wish, to peruse the evidence unearthed through computer technology regarding the case.
When the case was taken up, the accused trio, Samagi Jana Balawegaya Parliamentarian Ranawaka, Dilum Thusitha Kumara, who had posed as Ranawaka’s driver and former Officer-In-Charge of the Welikada Police Station, Assistant Superintendent of Police Sudath Asmadala, were present in Court.
The defendants were represented by Anuja Premaratna PC, Anil Silva PC and Attorneys Geeth Jayasinghe, Gunaratne Wanninayake and Rajitha Kodithuwakku. Former Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Ranawaka was indicted by the AG, on charges of causing grievous injuries to youth Sampath during a hit-and-run incident that took place in Rajagiriya on 29 February, four years ago, as well as on charges of the compilation of fake evidence, the disappearance of evidence and the submission of bogus evidence to Court.
The AG had indicted Asmadala with compiling fabricated evidence in order to protect Ranawaka from being punished over the offence, tampering with evidence and plotting to make the evidence related to the case disappear.
De Livera had indicted Kumara at the CHC, for having furnished bogus information to the Court and falsely claiming that the jeep in question on the day of the accident had been driven by him.