Committee of JMOs to be appointed to compile report on Schaffter’s death

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Colombo Additional Magistrate Rajindra Jayasuriya has given orders to appoint a five-member committee of experts to prepare a report on the death of prominent businessman Dinesh Schaffter.

Accordingly, the experts’ committee comprising Judicial Medical Officers will be appointed to probe the matter as contradictions were observed in the post-mortem reports.

The additional magistrate has fixed the case to be taken up for hearing again on February 20.

Earlier this week, the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court ordered the Colombo Chief Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) and the Government Analyst to preserve the body specimens of the 52-year-old if any such specimens have been obtained for testing or investigative purposes.

The Janashakthi PLC Director was found tied up in the driving seat of his car at the Borella cemetery on December 15, 2022, and was rushed to the ICU of the National Hospital in Colombo. He passed away while undergoing treatment.

Investigations had revealed that Schaffter had left home at Flower Road in Cinnamon Garden at around 2.00 p.m. on December 15, informing his wife and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of one of his companies that he was going to meet an individual who owes him a large sum of money.

At around 2.48 p.m. on the same day, Schaffter had shared his live location with his wife and the CEO. The live location ended from the General Cemetery in Borella and the calls made by his wife had gone unanswered. Due to growing suspicions, Schaffter’s wife had asked the relevant CEO to check on Schaffter.

Subsequently, the CEO had driven to the cemetery in search of Schaffter. At around 3.00 p.m., the CEO found Schaffter’s car parked inside the cemetery. Schaffter had been tied with zip ties and a wire around his neck at the time he was found by the CEO, who later freed Schaffter with the assistance of a cemetery labourer and admitted him to the National Hospital in Colombo at around 3.15 p.m.

Schaffter, who was in critical condition, died at around 10.30 p.m. while receiving treatment at the hospital’s ICU. The police have also found an electrical code inside Schaffter’s car.

Subsequently, the Homicide and Organised Crimes Division of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) had launched an investigation in collaboration with the Borella police.

The CID investigations had also revealed that the cemetery labourer had witnessed an unknown individual walking away from Schaffter’s car.

Meanwhile, the remains of the deceased were produced before the chief medical officer at the Institute of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology. The post-mortem had revealed that the death had occurred due to strangulation.

However, it was later revealed that Schaffter’s death had been the result of cyanide ingestion. Further, the post-mortem report had also concluded that the injuries caused by strangulation were not fatal.

Statements have been recorded from more than 20 people with regard to the incident. Among them were Schaffter’s wife and former English cricket commentator Brian Thomas, his wife and family members.


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