Expert panel requests permission to exhume Dinesh Schaffter’s body

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – The five-member special judicial committee appointed to determine the cause of Janashakthi Group Director Dinesh Schaffter’s death has requested the Colombo Additional Magistrate Mrs. Rajindra Jayasuriya to issue a court order to exhume his body.

The five-member expert panel investigating whether the death of Mr. Schaffter was a suicide or a homicide has informed the court in a letter that based on the evidence obtained in relation to the investigations conducted so far, the panel has decided to exhume the body and conduct a new post-mortem examination.

The Magistrate decided that the Criminal Investigations Department should be informed in this regard and stated that the case needs to be called again.

Colombo Additional Magistrate Rajindra Jayasuriya on February 27, 2023 ordered the appointment of an investigation panel comprising five judicial and forensic medicine experts to determine the cause of death of businessman Dinesh Schaffter.

Accordingly, Prof. Asela Mendis, forensic specialist of Colombo University as the Chairman and Prof. DCR Perera of Ruhuna University, Forensic specialist Prof. DNP Fernando of University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya Hospital Judicial Medical Officer Dr. Siva Subramaniam and Galle Karapitiya Hospital Senior Judicial Medical Officer Dr. Rohan Ruwanpura as the members were appointed for the investigation panel.

All documents including autopsy reports, DNA reports, SOCO officials’ reports, Colombo National Hospital Emergency Department reports of Mr. Schaffter who died on 15 December 2022, and psychiatric reports of Mr. Schaffter have been given to the committee through the court registrar.

Accordingly, according to the powers assigned in Section 375 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Magistrate appointed this five-member committee to determine the cause of Mr. Schaffter’s death, as there were contradictions between the original version of the post-mortem report and the final detailed report related to the businessman’s death.

According to the DNA reports received so far, presence of unknown DNA have been found in two biological samples, and for comparison, blood samples of ten medical staff of the Colombo National Hospital who treated Mr. Schaffter and 21 police officers who conducted the investigation related to the incident have been sent to the Government Analyst’s Department on court orders to obtain DNA reports.

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