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2024.06.11- 70th day of the Main Easter Attacks Criminal Trial against 24 Accused

2024.06.11- 70th day of the Main Easter Attacks Criminal Trial against 24 Accused
Date : 11/06/2024
Case number : HC(TAB) 2972/21
Brief update:
The subject case was taken up before the Trial at Bar for the trial (Voir dire inquiry) of the 11th accused.
13th and 14th Accused was not present before the court due to their medical conditions. They were represented by a lawyer and the trial proceeded in their absence as per the understanding of court.
The 1st witness for the 11th accused ( father of the accused) was present in court.
The counsel for the 23rd accused raised the issue concerning the health of the 23rd accused and court had received the report dated 10th June 2024 from the commissioner general of prisons stating that all steps regarding the 23rd accused were taken as per the medical instructions. However, queries asked by court were not answered in the report and this was duly noted by the court .
The prosecution informed that they had made an application to the Commisioner general of prisons to appoint two officers to coordinate with the court on this matter and a response to this was given by the Commissioner general of prison accepting the request.
The counsel for the accused raised the issue of the accused being able to bring pen and paper to take down notes , however the prosecution objected on the premise that it would set a bad precedence for other criminal cases and would cause security concerns. A counsel on behalf of all of the accused recorded their application and the prosecution recorded their objections.
However, the court delivered the order and held with the prosecution citing the need to have a consistent procedure in place for all criminal cases unless there are exceptional circumstances that require the accused to have pen and paper and thus did not allow the request of the counsel for the accused.
A counsel for the accused requested that the accused be provided with water, the court agreed and held that the facilities will be provided by court however, the management of it should be done by the prison authorities.
The cross examination of the 1st witness for the 11th accused ( father of the accused) commenced.
The accused was questioned on a promise that was made to the 11th accused by the TID, as claimed by the accused. The witness stated that the 11th accused was given the promise that he will be made a state witness in this case and that he will be given a job in the computer division in the TID.
The witness was questioned on the building where the purported promise was made and further on the communications between the witness and the accused regarding the purported promise. The witness stated that he did not question the 11th accused on the authenticity of the information that he is to give as a state witness and thus he’s not sure if he is telling the truth or not. The witness admits that he advised the 11th accused to go ahead with the TIDs request irrespective of it being true or false but that he believed the accused to be telling the truth, in order to be released from the case but that he’s unaware of the nature of what the 11th accused is to say.
The witness was shown the picture marked as 11Y5 (an image that is claimed to be taken by the nandasiri the TID officer) and was questioned on the image and how it was sent to the witness. The witness previously stated that it was sent via WhatsApp but stated that he is unable to produce the phone on which he received the image as it was in his old phone but said he will try to locate the date and further details by checking his wife’s phone.
The witness was questioned on the previous employment held by the 11th accused. During the line of questioning he stated that he was unaware that the 11th accused engaged in a business of renting houses .
The prosecution thereafter showed the statement that was made by the witness dated 2019.08.21 to the TID which stated that the 11th accused engaged in a business to rent out houses for tourism purposes. The section which sets out the contradiction was marked as X10.
Thereafter witness was questioned if the 11th accused had been associating bad people which he denied. However in the same statement the witness had stated that the 11th accused in 2019 was in bad company. The contradiction was marked as X11 by the prosecution.
The witness was questioned on the connection between the 11th accused and his mother’s sister. Thereafter the document X12 containing the telephone statement was marked.
The witness was questioned on the delay and reason to file a complaint at the human rights commission of Sri Lanka which was made on the 16th of November 2023 regarding the alleged promise made by the TID when the subject case commenced in 2021.
The cross examination of the witness concluded and re examination commenced and was not concluded.
Next step: re examination of the 1st witness of the 11th accused.
Further trial was fixed for the 12th of June 2024.
Next date: The case will be taken up on 12th of June 2024 at 1.00pm for further trial.

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