The case filed regarding two attempts to assassinate Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian, M.A. Sumanthiran will be taken up tomorrow, July 30 at the Colombo High Court to serve indictments on the suspects.
In January 2017, Terrorist Investigation Department (TID) reported to the Killinochchi Magistrate’s court that they had apprehended five suspects in connection with plotting the assassination of the Member of Parliament from the Jaffna District. The suspects, Karalasingham Kulendran, Gnanasekaralingam Rasmadan, Murugaiya Thawendran, Welayudan
Wijeyakumar and Lewis Mariyanagam Ajanthan were apprehended by the TID in 2017.
The suspects were initially arrested under the normal law and granted bail, unlike in the case of arrests made under the PTA where suspects can be held in detention during the course of investigation and trial.
The Sunday Observer learns that the TID decided to indict the suspects under PTA regulations for several reasons, including the fact that some witnesses had refused to testify if the trial was conducted in the Northern Province fearing reprisals.
Ordinary law also only allows people to be indicted on charges of conspiracy to murder, whereas suspects could be indicted on charges of attempted murder under the PTA. Due to the nature of the case, the suspects were indicted in the Colombo High Court, which has sole jurisdiction in PTA cases.
However, TNA MP Sumanthiran on whose life the attempt was made disagreed with the decision to prosecute the suspects under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
Speaking to the Sunday Observer, Sumanthiran said he had appealed to the authorities not to prosecute the suspects under the Prevention of Terrorism Act regulations.
“But, the Attorney General decided to file indictments in Colombo High Court under PTA regulations, so it was out of my hands,” the TNA Parliamentarian said.
The B report filed before the Kilinochchi Magistrate’s Court in 2017, reads that the suspects “on the advice and guidance from several persons keeping contact with them, have kept in their possession high impact claymore bombs, locally manufactured detonators and other weapons to be used at several assassination attempts made against the parliamentarian within the Jaffna Peninsula”.