7 accused in Vidya murder sentenced to death; 2 crown witnesses freed ; CID lauded by court ! (Full report)

(Lanka-e-News - 27.Sep.2017, 11.55PM)  The Jaffna high court today (27) sentenced 7 suspects to death who gang raped and murdered Jaffna student Vidya .

While the 7 suspects including Swiss Kumar the prime suspect in this ghastly crime were so sentenced ,  the other two suspects  who  turned crown witnesses were released. 

The lawyers who appeared on behalf of the  murderers said, they will be appealing against this decision.

In addition to the death sentence , each accused was ordered to pay a compensation of Rs. 1 million to the family of Vidya , meaning that the total amount payable as compensation is Rs. 7 million.  If the accused do not pay the compensation , the  30 years period of rigorous imprisonment  (apart from the death sentence) they must serve will be extended further the verdict stated. 

A large crowd including the parents and relatives of Vidya the deceased , as well  as civilians of Jaffna  were present in court to witness the court proceedings .

This judgment contained in 332  pages was delivered by Vavuniya high court judge Sashi Mahendran the president of  the  three judges panel which tried the case. The other judges of the panel were High court judge Manickavasagar Ilangaveliyan and Trincomalee high court judge Annalingam Premsankar .

The names of the accused are :
Poobalasingham Indra Kumar alias Sinnappa
Poobalasingham Jeyakumar alias Ravi
Poobalasingham  Navakumar alais Senthil
Mahalingam  Sashitharan alias Sashi
Pillainathan Chandrakasan alias Chandra 
Sivathevan Kushanthan alias Periyathambi
Palani Roopasingham Kuganathan alias Nishanthan 
Jayatharan Kokilan alias Kanha
Mahalingam Sashikumar alias Swiss Kumar

Poobalasingam Indra Kumar and Palani Roopasingam  who became crown witnesses were freed.  

Senior additional solicitor general Duppula De Livera addressed the High court , Jaffna,  first on behalf of the prosecution  , on the  first day when the trial commenced  .Deputy Solicitor general D.S.G Kumararatnam led evidence  for the prosecution.

The two officers of the CID ,Colombo , ASP Tissera and chief Inspector Nishantha were specially lauded by the court.

On the day the trial commenced , Sivaloganathan Saraswathi the mother of the victim when giving evidence identified the clothes her daughter was wearing when she was abducted and the other materials .

On the day the verdict was delivered , security was beefed up around the High court and at many other places .  In addition the security division conducted an intense search on every individual who entered the court premises.

Sivaloganthan Vidya was following classes  in Poongatheevu school .She was abducted on 2015-05 -13 morning when she was on her way to school . After committing gang rape she was killed by strangling .  The body was later found in a thicket. 

Vidya  was 16 years old at the time she came by this tragic death.

The villagers who conducted a search , after finding the body of Vidya apprehended the chief suspect in the case Mahalingam Sashikaran alias ‘Swiss Kumar’ against whom they  had strong suspicions. He was tied by them , assaulted and handed over to the police. 

Swiss Kumar somehow under political pressures or otherwise freed himself from the police and fled to Colombo . While he was preparing to bolt to Switzerland , he was arrested again by the police in Colombo.

Senior DIG Lalith Jayasinghe who was in charge of northern province at that time was arrested on charges of aiding and abetting Swiss Kumar to escape .This was while the case was being heard in the court , and based on the evidence that surfaced. 

The present State minister for women’s affairs Vijaya Kala Maheshwaran  gave evidence in court that Jayasinghe had abetted in the escape of Swiss Kumar . The CID  recorded a statement of the state minister for about six hours , when she  told the CID she had nothing to do with that incident.

Finally when the judgment was delivered both Jayasinghe and Vijayakala were not held guilty. 

In the photograph is  Vidya the victim( inset) , and the court where the case was heard today.

Photos and report by Dinasena Rathugamage
Translated by Jeff

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by     (2017-09-27 21:52:27)

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