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.