வியாழன், 25 மே, 2017

Tamil POWs reject SL deceptive offers to testify against inmates in exchange of amnesty

Tamil POWs reject SL deceptive offers to testify against inmates in exchange of amnesty

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 23 May 2017, 17:29 GMT]
Sinhala police and prison officials of occupying Colombo are trying to deceive some of the Tamil political prisoners to testify against the inmates, say Tamil prisoners in Colombo Magazine prison. The cases of almost all of the so-called ‘Prevention of Terrorism Act’ (PTA) detainees are based on forced confessions obtained under torture by the so-called ‘Terrorist’ Investigation Division’ (TID) or the SL Police. As the judges of the courts situated in the North-East would dismiss the use of such confessions as evidence, SL Attorney General’s Office in Colombo has been transferring the cases away from the courts in North-East to special courts in the South.

But, also in South, judges find it difficult to go along with the false confessions, at least in some of the cases.

The SL AG department has therefore instructed the prison authorities and SL police to convince at least some of the prisoners to testify against their inmates.

On Monday, Colombo Special High Court had to dismiss the use of TID-obtained confession submitted to the courts by the Attorney General's Department in a case against a Tamil political prisoner.

39-year-old Jeyaraman Ramanathan from Ki'linochchi has been detained for 9 years. The SL Police was accusing Ramanathan of involvement in a plot to blast a bridge in the South. The prisoner said the SL State prosecutor was using a false confession, which was obtained under severe torture from him.

K.V. Thavararjah, the lawyer representing the Tamil political prisoner submitted evidence for torture in the form of medical reports from the period when the confession was obtained by the TID and the SL Police from Mr Jeyaraman. The victim had 9 wounds from torture as documented in a medical report. The judge Piyasena Ranasinghe has no other option than setting aside the confession in the case and the prisoner was released by the courts.

Many political prisoners believe that their cases would be dismissed if taken up for investigation. The SL Attorney General's Department has been booking several cases in different courts on many of the detainees in the past to make sure continued imprisonment of the political prisoners.

The SL AG Department is therefore trying to set the prisoners to collaborate with SL State by testifying against fellow inmates. But, many of the Tamil prisoners declined to collaborate with the SL State authorities, the prisoners from Colombo Magazine Prison told TamilNet on Tuesday.

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