MP Premalal Jayasekara and two others acquitted and released from death sentence

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) –The Court of Appeal today (31) acquitted three persons, including Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna parliamentarian MP Premalal Jayasekara, who were sentenced to death for murder in Kahawatta.

The judgment was rendered by a panel of judges of the Court of Appeal comprising Justices Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne and R. Gurusinghe.

The Court of Appeal passed the order after accepting the appeals of three defendants, including Premalal Jayasekara, to set aside the death sentences imposed on them by the Ratnapura High Court and acquit them.

Ratnapura High Court on July 31, 2019 sentenced MP Premalal Jayasekara, former Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councilor Nilantha Jayasinghe and former Chairman of the Kahawatta Pradeshiya Sabha Vajira Dharshana to death for the murder of Shantha Dodangoda, an election supporter of the common candidate Maithripala Sirisena during the presidential elections in 2015 and attempted murder of two others.

The defendants have claimed that the manner in which the death sentence was imposed on them by the High Court is against the law, and appealed to the higher court seeking their acquittal and release from the charges.

Announcing the verdict, Court of Appeal Judge Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne stated that there was no evidence that the defendants had firearms in their hands at the time of the incident and that they had fired.

Accordingly, the accused have not been proved of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt before the Ratnapura High Court, the judge said.

The Appellate Court bench stated that the verdict passed by the Ratnapura High Court convicting the accused was null and void and ordered that the three accused be acquitted and released accordingly.


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