The trial against the wife of Christian and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Milroy Fernando and two other accused in connection with the abduction and murder of a woman who was said to be the mistress of the minister and the domestic aid resumed before a jury in Colombo High Court yesterday.
The accused, minister`s wife N.Mary Juliet Monica, P. Ajith Priyankara Perera and T.M.D Neville Rohan Peiris were produced from remand when the case was taken before High Court Judge Upali Abeyratne.
The prosecution witness K.M Chandrapala who was remanded in connection with perjury was produced from remand and Senior State Counsel Sarath Jayamanna continued cross-examination. The witness said that he told the truth to the police. The Counsel suggested that the witness was giving biased evidence for the accused to be free which the witness denied.
The Defense counsel examined the witness Chandrapala of CID recording his statement and other events that took place. The witness said that four CID officers recorded his statement under threat and he made his statement in fear. After recording the statement the CID had come to the mill each week to see whether he was there.
Subsequently a new witness, ASP T. Premaratne the former Marawila OIC gave evidence examined by the Senior State Counsel. Mr. Premaratne had conducted preliminary investigations into the murder and later the CID had come forward to help them with the investigations. He had got to know the incident from phone calls on January 4 1992 and he had visited the scene with a team of police officers. The team had reached the place around 9.20am and found about hundred people gathered there.
Later he had seen two burnt bodies of women on the ground, in manner which people embrace. There had not been any trace of tyres or any other substance used to burn the bodies. The bodies had been badly burnt.
After getting a photograph of the bodies the Acting Magistrate of Marawila had come to the scene. Since there had not been sufficient facilities at Marawila hospital to conduct the postmortems, the bodies were sent to Colombo for the postmortem.
When the bodies were moved he had found a thin ring, which he had taken into his custody. On the same day evening around 7pm Rani Beatrice and Indika Fernando had come to the police station to make a complaint of the missing of Theresa Fernando and her domestic aid Seelawathi. Mr. Premaratne had recorded statement without telling them the true incident that had taken place.
Next morning (January 5 1992) Rani and Seelawathi`s daughter had come to the police station following his instructions. They had identified the ring and the piece of cloth belonged to the victims.
Both of them were sent to Colombo mortuary with a police officer to identify the bodies and record their statement.
The trial was adjourned for today.