Evidence shows detainee was tortured

Place: Trincomalee | Courtesy: TamilNet
| Date: 19990430

A surgeon attached to the Trincomalee base hospital told the Eastern High Court that scars found on the body of the accused Tamil youth were consistent with the history given by him that he had been tortured while in custody.

In this case, twenty six year old Karthigesupillai Devananthan of Trincomalee had been charged with the possession of hand grenades in August,1997, under the Emergency Regulations.

The accused has also been charged for helping to transport hand grenades and pistols between January 1,1996 and December 31, 1996, under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).

When these two cases came up for hearing before the Eastern High Court, Dr.S.Thaventhran, Surgeon, said in his evidence that he examined the accused and found several scars on his body.

According to him, those scars were found consistent with the history of torture given by the accused.

Thereafter the defence sumbitted that the accused be discharged as the confession from him had been obtained under duress as the medical evidence had proved torture. Furthermore the defence told court that the accused was on remand for the last twenty two months.He had been arrested seven days after his marriage.

The defence brought to the notice of the court that material witnesses such as the Senior Supdt. of Police and other police officers had failed to attend court for the last five dates. The defence pleaded that the accused be discharged.

The State Counsel replied that though evidence had been placed in court that the accused had been tortured in custody, it would take some time to take a decision in regard to the application made by the defence. However, the State Counsel said he had no objection to allow bail to the accused with some conditions.

The High Court Judge, Mr.A.N.Ramachandran, allowed the accused on bail with two sureties in a sum of Rs:10,000/- each. The Judge further ordered the accused to report daily at 7.30 a.m. to the Gramasevaka Niladhari of his area and every Saturday morning to the Special Investigation Unit of the Trincomalee Police.

The accused was further ordered not to leave the Trincomalee town without obtaining prior permission of the court.

Further hearing in these cases has been fixed for June 16.