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Former Peliyagoda Police Officers Sentenced to Death for 2005 Custodial Death

The Colombo High Court has handed down a death sentence to two former police officers from the Peliyagoda Police Station after finding them guilty of the brutal assault and subsequent death of a suspect in their custody in 2005.

In a landmark verdict delivered by Colombo High Court Judge Navaratne Marasinghe today, the Sub-Inspector of Police and a Police Constable were sentenced to death after an exhaustive 18-year trial. The case revolved around the unlawful detention and fatal assault on a 52-year-old suspect who had been accused of stealing a mobile phone from the residence of a police officer attached to the fingerprint division.

The victim, in July 2005, was transferred to the Peliyagoda Police Station on suspicion of theft. Subsequently, the two accused officers were found guilty of unlawfully detaining the suspect and subjecting him to brutal physical assault, leading to his tragic demise.

In addition to the death sentence, the Colombo High Court ordered both convicted officers to pay a compensation of Rs. 1 million each to the daughter of the deceased victim, providing some measure of justice for the family.

Meanwhile, the court also ruled on the acquittal of the second and third defendants in the case, marking the conclusion of a legal process that spanned nearly two decades.

This verdict serves as a significant development in the pursuit of justice for custodial abuses and sends a strong message about the accountability of law enforcement officers. The legal system’s thorough examination of this case underscores the commitment to upholding the rule of law and ensuring justice is served, even in cases that span an extended period.

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