Suspects in Gerard Mervyn Perera’s Torture Case acquitted & discharged

 - April 4th, 2008 - 

On the 3rd June 2002  Gerard Perera  of Makewita ,Wattala, was taken into custody and  tortured.  In terms of  Act No22 of 1994 a law incorporating  the Convention against Torture and Cruel and Inhuman Treatment Act, Legal Department  indicted seven Police Officers .in Negombo High Courts . Case No.326/2003.

On the 21st of November 2004, few days before the scheduled date of the case,Gererad Perera was gunned down,  thus preventing him  giving evidence..  The Fundamental  Rights case  against torture was won by  Gerard Perera, and the verdict was to pay  compensation ,  amounting to  Fifteen Lakhs.

Case went on for five years the verdict was given on the 2nd April 2008.   All the suspects were  acquitted and discharged.

The honourable  High Court Judge Madam Thennekoon, delivering the verdict,said that  it has been proved that the victim late Gerard Perera  has been taken into custody on the 3rd June 2002, been remanded and tortured .  Since  it has not been proved  beyond doubt  by the prosecuter, that  the seven suspects  or any other person  was  responsible for the torture and therefore  the seven suspects are acquitted and discharged.

The Judge in her statement said that the the main attention of the court was to find out who was responsible for taking  Gerard Perera  to custody and it clearly shows that these respondants have  arrested the victim.    Gerard Perera was  in good health before he was arrested,  and he has taken treatment for about one month after he was released.  All these the Court accepts.

Gereard Perera’s wife and the  brother who was called to give evidence  are not eye witnesses.  The Judge highlighted,the responsibility of the Court,about the prosecutor  since this case has been built up without the evidence of  eye witnesses.

It has to be accepted by the court that  from the the time of the arrest of Gerard Perera up to his release, the prosecutor has proved beyond doubt the movements of the respondents
But the Opinion of the Hight Court is that the prosecutor has not proved  that the respondents were mainly responsible for the offence.

Also pointed out the weakness of the prosecutor  by not calling the respondents of Gerard Perera ‘s Fundamental Rights Case,Sena Suraweera  Inspector of Wattala Police,  Police Officer Renuka  and  the Chairman of Wattala Pradeshiya Sabaha,who was the signatory for Gerard Perera’s bail out.

Taking into consideration the above ,since the prosecutor has not proved beyond doubt, the respondents were acquitted and  discharged.

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